New Video Series Addresses How to Avoid Implicit Bias

Most hearing care professionals pride themselves on the ability to deliver patient-centered care. This trend toward being more patient-centered, however, requires everyone to self-examine their own implicit biases. 

Implicit bias is best defined as unconscious prejudices, beliefs, or attitudes towards a person or group. Further, implicit bias can undermine our explicit intentions to treat everyone fairly and without judgment. There are data from numerous studies indicating certain groups, including women, LGBTQ and many other communities don’t get the treatment they deserve because of the implicit bias of their healthcare provider. 

Implicit bias can be difficult to acknowledge and control because it exists beyond one’s conscious thoughts or feelings. Fortunately, there is emerging research, much of it summarized here, suggesting implicit bias of all types can be overcome when individuals are made aware of their biases and provided a path to a more inclusive communication strategy.

Recently, the American Academy of Otolaryngology launched a series of short training videos that help medical professionals avoid implicit bias in their practice. There are several short video vignettes exploring the ten most common types of implicit biases in healthcare. Here is a list of the videos along with the estimated number of Americans in each of the groups. 

  • Older adults, aged 65-plus (54 million) 
  • Women (166.7 million) 
  • Obese adults (70 million) 
  • Black (42 million) and Indigenous Americans (9 million) 
  • Rural Americans (57.2 million)
  • Transgender adults (1.4 million) 
  • Hispanic/Latino Americans (60.6 million) 
  • LGBTQ community (15-plus million) 
  • Non-native English-speaking people (67.3 million) 
  • Muslim women wearing a hijab 

Although the videos are geared toward otolaryngologists, hearing care professionals might find them beneficial. All the videos in the series can be found here. 

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