Implicit bias affects the decision-making of everyone. To address the multifarious problems created by this innate tendency, VCOM–Carolinas’ PRIDE (Promoting Recognition of Identity, Diversity & Equality) in Healthcare organization has created a four-part series of seminars entitled Bias in Healthcare. On Tuesday, December 4, Wofford College Assistant Professor Rhiannon Leebrick, PhD visited the Carolinas campus to present the second installment in the series. The event was hosted by PRIDE in coordination with the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) and the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) student organizations.
Joining Dr. Leebrick was Demario Watts, Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity & Leadership at Wofford. In their hour-long talk, Understanding Bias: Racial Justice and Anti-Racism, Leebrick and Watts discussed the history and implications of racism in the United States, including the history of slavery and attitudes toward African-Americans and indigenous peoples. Following an hour-long presentation, the floor was opened to questions and discussion. 73 people were in attendance, including five VCOM instructors.
The series has the goal of ensuring that the college’s students are among the most culturally aware and sensitive physicians, introduces the concept of bias and details many forms of bias that students may witness or unintentionally perpetuate in the field of medicine. These include, but are not limited to, racism, sexism and gender stereotypes, and homophobia and transphobia. It is hoped that this additional educational opportunity will enhance and guide future physicians on a path toward better patient outcomes.