The U.S. population is projected to become majority non-white in the next 25-30 years and health care disparities continue to persist in many minority populations.  As primary health care providers we are taught to understand and be sensitive to the needs and social determinants of health of our patients, but we have spent less time on understanding our own biases, attitudes that can influence our clinical decision making and put our patient's health at risk.  There are two types of bias that we are all susceptible to - explicit and implicit biases.  Explicit biases are those attitudes or stereotypes about individuals or groups of people that we are aware that we have.  Implicit, or unconscious, bias are those attitudes that we don't know that we have nor do we know how they were formed.  Research suggests that implicit bias may contribute to health care disparities by shaping physician behavior and producing differences in medical treatment along the lines of race, ethnicity, gender, or other social and cultural identifiers.  This course will review the origins of implicit bias, cite research documenting the existence of implicit bias among physicians, and describe studies that demonstrate implicit bias in clinical decision-making.  Frameworks and strategies to mitigate bias and a discussion of cultural competence will also be presented.

Course Code:



Ruth Shoge, O.D.



AOA Expiration Date:


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