Michelle van Ryn, PhD, MPH, Program in Human Sexuality intern and Department of Family Medicine and Community Health associate professor, will be the principal investigator on a $2,734,770 grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct an innovative multi-measure longitudinal study of a national sample of medical students on unconscious stereotyping by medical providers.
The goal of the study is to examine the impact of individual and medical school factors on implicit (unconscious, automatic) and explicit racial and other biases in medical students' judgments and decisions. A large national probability sample of medical students will be enrolled during their first year and followed through the conclusion of their fourth year. Individual medical schools will not be disclosed or discussed. Findings from the project will inform effective interventions to reduce the impact of implicit biases and other unconscious processes on the quality of new physicians' clinical decision-making.
van Ryn said, "We have high hopes that findings from the project will benefit medical schools and students, and ultimately reduce disparities and improve quality of care for patients regardless of race, ethnicity, social class, or sexual orientation."
The grant was awarded in September 2009. The research team includes Jack Dovidio, PhD (Yale), Diana Burgess, PhD, David Nelson, PhD, and Mark Yeazel, MD, doctoral student Sean Phelan, MPH, and coordinators Melissa Eastman, MPH, and Deborah Finstad, BA.
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