What is implicit, or unconscious, bias? These are assumptions, thoughts, and actions that we believe or act out without explicit thought.
There are some unconscious biases that are protective — ie, seeing a flame triggers a thought that it is likely hot, which leads us to not touch it. However, there are unconscious biases that hurt those around us — such as having a preference for people who look like us, talk like us, and have a similar life to us. In preferring those who are similar, and conversely being biased against those who are different, we can perpetuate inequities.
These resources are intended to help departments understand implicit bias, identify biases, and recognize how they may affect patient care, physician training, and departmental culture.
Implicit Association Tests
Take an Implicit Association Test from Project Implicit on topics including race, age, gender, and disability.
Project Implicit was founded in 1998 by scientists from University of Washington, Harvard University, and University of Virginia to educate the public about hidden biases and to use the internet as a “virtual laboratory” for testing implicit biases.
Implicit Bias Reduction Quick Reference
This is a list of research-proven strategies to reduce implicit bias (Adapted from Capers IV, Q. (2020). How clinicians and educators can mitigate implicit bias in patient care and candidate selection in medical education. ATS Scholar, 1(3), 211-217 (https://doi.org/10.34197/ats-scholar.2020-0024PS).
University of Michigan Anesthesiology Residency Program Faculty and Resident Interview Groups implemented this reference sheet during the 2020 virtual recruitment cycle.