Countering Racial Bias with Empathy
No doctor awakens in the morning determined to discriminate against patients of color, yet their daily clinical decisions too often have that result. Implicit bias—unconscious assumptions and stereotypes—often cause the harm. The failure to ask the right questions, listen closely and reserve judgment can sabotage communication in any patient/physician encounter, but it worsens when racial differences are involved. Empathy, a teachable skill that enhances trust and builds more effective medical encounters, is vital to humane medicine. An animated video, "The Elephant in the Waiting Room," opens this session to demonstrate what that looks like.