DR. VALANTINE'S FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Hannah A. Valantine, MD Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity
Workplace climate affects our present experiences as well as our future career choices. In this month’s newsletter check out interesting perspectives on how explicit and implicit bias can interact in negative ways, how to manage bias between patients and health providers, as well as specific steps institutions can take toward achieving inclusive excellence that features a healthy workplace climate.
A new study explores the potential role of implicit gender bias on promotion decisions made by scientific evaluation committees for an annual nationwide competition for elite research positions. The results show that when such committees accepted (and mitigated) the power of their own biases, the link between implicit stereotypes and promotion decisions vanished. The findings held across a wide number of scientific disciplines – and underscore the value of bias education in achieving research excellence.
Extensive literature shows that diversity drives excellence. A recent supplement published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America provides a summary of multi-level challenges, opportunities, and suggestions toward achieving greater levels of equity, representation, and excellence in clinical practice and research. The article presents collaborative actionable steps to enhance inclusive excellence in the biomedical workforce.
The flip side of health-provider bias affecting patient care is patient bias toward clinicians and employees. Such bias is common, and is based upon personal characteristics. These include age, ethnicity, gender, or race – but also religion, weight, political views, accent, or sexual orientation. Health care organizations are responsible for cultivating environments that are safe for both employees and patients. Check out how one institution has recently created a policy framework and reporting mechanism for accountability around bias.