Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton have recently invoked the notion of “implicit bias” and its effects on our society. Implicit bias lives beneath the surface of our unconscious and yet it shapes our attitudes and actions toward others. Recently, I asked a group of medical residents at our hospital to journal their experiences and observations in clinical settings and to describe how those implicit biases impacted patient care. I received the following examples: A Caucasian boy with an abscess was nearly discharged from the ER with a less-effective medication because his parents were young and not well dressed, leading physicians to assume he was on Medicaid. It turned out he had private insurance and could afford the right drug for his condition. In another instance, a young African American woman was considered a “drug seeker” because of multiple trips to the emergency department complaining of headaches. Residents believed there was nothing really wrong with her but an attending physician suggested a full neurologic work up; an MRI revealed a brain tumor. Indeed, the woman had a physiologic cause for her headaches. As these medical examples illustrate, implicit bias can be a life or death issue. Just as it can mean life or death in the streets of our cities, it is also critical in health care settings that implicit bias be recognized for entrenching health disparities and sustaining inequities.
Mental health was the most frequently cited concern among residents participating in Lakeland Health’s most recent community survey.
Mental health No. 1 concern, survey finds LAKELAND REPORT WILL BE SUBJECT OF PUBLIC MEETING By JOHN MATUSZAK - HP Staff Writer | Posted: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 6:00 am Mental health No. 1 concern, survey finds http://www.heraldpalladium.com/news/local/mental-health-no-concern-survey-finds/article_e9b9097e-a89f-546f-9564-4123a430b128.html#.WAKa_v3uQ7I.twitter