Pediatricians linked to less subconscious racial bias than other clinicians

July 21, 2008

Pediatricans may be less susceptible to subconscious racial attitudes and stereotypes than other doctors, according to a report in the July Medical Care.

Pediatricans may be less susceptible to subconscious racial attitudes and stereotypes than other doctors, according to a report in the July Medical Care.

Investigators employed a single-session Web survey of 95 academic pediatricians in an urban university to measure implicit racial attitudes and stereotypes using the Race Attitude Implicit Association Test (IAT).

Results showed that the study participants held an implicit association between European-Americans relative to African-Americans and the concept of "compliant patient", but also held an implicit association between African-Americans relative to European-Americans and the concept of "preferred medical care."

In addition, pediatricians held a less implicit racial bias compared to that of respondents of a previous IAT survey of emergency room doctors, as well as that of a general population of IAT respondents.

The investigators noted that further research is needed to determine whether physician implicit attitudes and stereotypes about race predict quality of care.