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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

PA Education

Advisor

Dr. Greg Davenport

Abstract

Implicit bias is the stereotype regarding groups of people that individuals form. This is categorized as implicit as it remains outside of their own conscious awareness. This bias forms secondary to past associations with places, experiences, and people, becoming a pattern of cognitive association. This automatic bias involves grouping individuals into categories that are most comfortable and familiar. Family, culture, religion, ethnicity, living environment, and medical education impact clinician implicit bias and medical decision-making. Bias widens health disparities and perpetuates inequity. Clinician implicit bias negatively impacts the quality of patient care. Evidence-based strategies are utilized to form the best practice of teaching implicit bias in the education of healthcare providers and skill development to address this bias. Recognition of learned, automatic associations are necessary to disconnect from the bias that all humans possess. Through this recognition of bias, self-reflection, and formal education on how to mitigate implicit bias in Physician Assistant education, future clinicians will enhance their communication and assessment strategies with patients and improve patient care.

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