Informal training experiences contribute to changes in racial bias among medical students
In a study published in Social Psychology Quarterly, Dr. Sara Burke and colleagues examined the effects of both formal and informal experiences on non-African American medical students’ attitudes toward African Americans.
- Interracial contact was an important predictor of positive attitudes toward African Americans.
- Students who witnessed instructors make negative racial comments or jokes were significantly more willing to express racial bias themselves.
- Formal training on issues related to racial bias was not significantly associated with attitudes toward African Americans
According to the authors “explicit antiblack attitudes remain an active and pressing concern in medical training and demonstrate the urgency of addressing racial bias in the informal culture of medicine.”
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