How to Reverse Implicit Bias in HIV Care: 6 Steps to Take Today

How to Reverse Implicit Bias in HIV Care: 6 Steps to Take Today

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Knowing is not enough; we must apply.Willing is not enough; we must do.

-- Goethe

Knowing is not enough; we must apply.Willing is not enough; we must do.

-- Goethe

So opens a 764-page report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, released in 2003, detailing racial and ethnic disparities in health care and how to begin to address them. "[B]oth patients and providers can benefit from education[,]" the authors asserted in the report. "The greater burden of education, however, lies with providers."

Early and often, they asserted, health care providers need to be rigorously trained and their progress monitored in order to remove the effects of implicit biases on their medical practice.

The health system is just one area of society where implicit bias is made manifest, but it is the area in which health care and service providers have power to make change, one individual -- and care team, and clinic and organization -- at a time.

Image credit: tupungato for iStock via Thinkstock.