Introduction: Implicit biases are unknown attitudes that affect the decisions we make, without our knowledge or intent. Studies have shown that implicit bias affects many aspects of society, including medical decision making. Physicians in training are not immune to these issues and it is well documented that implicit bias contributes to healthcare disparities. Several studies have shown that simply being aware of personal implicit biases can help prevent prejudiced decision making. This workshop for physicians in training, is designed to foster self-reflection and increase awareness of personal implicit bias and its effects on patient care. Methods: The 120 minute workshop was presented to 86 resident physicians who filled out at a pre-workshop questionnaire. The workshop begins with interactive exercises that demonstrate how the brain easily forms incorrect associations. Following this, participants take an Implicit Association Test. Finally, small and large group discussion on personal experience with and effects of implicit bias as well as a group exercise that reveals methods to combat implicit bias conclude the activity. Following the activity, participants fill out a post-workshop questionnaire. Results: As evidence that the activity promotes physician awareness of personal implicit bias, we report the analysis of our pilot data (n = 86). The majority of workshop participants reported an increase in self-awareness of implicit bias (n=57, P< .001). Among those who rated an increase in self-awareness, there was an increase in beliefs that their personal implicit biases could impact patient care (n=51, p< .01). Discussion: Our results suggest that this activity is successful in increasing resident physician awareness of personal implicit bias and its effects on patient care. Awareness, alone has been shown to combat unconscious attitudes that result from implicit bias. Increased physician awareness of these biases is a big step towards health equity.
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