What is Unconscious Bias?
Unconscious bias (or implicit bias) is often defined as prejudice or unsupported judgments in favor of or against one thing, person, or group as compared to another, in a way that is usually considered unfair. Many researchers suggest that unconscious bias occurs automatically as the brain makes quick judgments based on past experiences and background. As a result of unconscious biases, certain people benefit and other people are penalized. In contrast, deliberate prejudices are defined as conscious bias (or explicit bias). Although we all have biases, many unconscious biases tend to be exhibited toward minority groups based on factors such as class, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality, religious beliefs, age, and disability. 
Why is it important?
Unconscious bias can be a setback in creating an inclusive healthcare setting. The year 2020 has raised awareness of the disparities which exist in health care, especially racial COVID-19 disparities in Michigan. The benefits of combatting unconscious bias are numerous and can include enhanced relationships and community building, a sense of inclusion, equity and appreciation for diversity.
What YOU can do about it.
- Encourage discussion regarding biases within your organization – being aware is the first step. It’s also important to be aware that not all biases are bad and are part of human nature.
- Look for any impact biases may have on decision making within your healthcare organization and discuss how this could impede progress toward your organizations health care goals.
- To support discussion and awareness in your organization, UPHP is offering a one-time payment to in-network UPHP physicians (M.D. or D.O) that complete the Stanford Unconscious Bias in Medicine training (approximately 1 hour) in 2021. The link below contains instructions for how to complete the training through Stanford’s website:
- After completion, please come back to this page and complete the attestation form below and select submit. Attestation is due by December 31, 2021. Unconscious bias education is valuable to all practice staff; although not eligible for payment, we recommend clinical and non-clinical staff complete the training in the same time line as physicians.
 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Unconscious Bias. (2021). Retrieved February 2 , 2021 , from Vanderbilt University: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/unconscious-bias/
Page Last Updated: 04/12/2021