Health Care Students' Perceptions of Bias during Their Clinical Training and Insights on Mitigating It

Mehnaz Parvez, Lisa Barnes, Rebecca Gonzalez, Keanna Prestegaard, Tara J. Rick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

PurposeTo understand health care students' perception of implicit bias and examine their insights to create a bias-free training environment.MethodsClinical phase students from one university's 4 health care programs participated in this study. Students were surveyed regarding their knowledge of implicit bias and perception of their experiences in the clinical learning environment.ResultsThe response rate was 50.9%, N = 161. In total, 52.6% reported having prior training on implicit bias, and 55% self-reported that they had personally observed preceptors who exhibited an implicit bias toward patients based on race, ethnicity, or other qualities. There was no statistically significant relationship between those with prior training on implicit bias and being able to identify implicit bias exhibited by preceptors. Participants also expressed their unwillingness to report an incident unless it is confidential due to fear of retribution.ConclusionThis study found that health care students from one university's 4 health care programs perceived implicit bias in their clinical learning environment, which they believe could be improved by taking intentional steps. Some suggestions provided were "Safe space to report and openly discuss bias," "Education/training on implicit bias," "Time for self-reflection," and "Hiring process that evaluates/trains against implicit bias." The implication of our study is to create a bias-free training environment that will help interrupt the propagation of biases contributing to health disparity. Further research should examine a national population and identify interventional methods and outcomes in multiple health care disciplines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physician Assistant Education
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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