This course on healthcare disparities is designed to increase awareness about racial and ethnic disparities across the spectrum of healthcare services and examine the use of patient-centered communication skills to minimize these disparities. This course includes peer-reviewed research, interactive case studies, and multimedia assessments that address topics including how the patient-physician relationship can contribute to disparities and how unconscious bias may conflict with consciously-held egalitarian values. The full course was evaluated using a randomized-controlled trial with a national sample of 130 physicians and resident physicians. It appears to have global effects on physicians’ knowledge of disparities, attitudes toward unconscious bias, and satisfaction with virtual patient encounters.
- Define health care disparities.
- Describe examples of racial and ethnic health care disparities.
- Explain why health care disparities matter.
- Identify sources of racial and ethnic disparities in health care.
- Define the term unconscious associations.
- Describe situations where unconscious associations are useful or a normal shortcut in medicine.
- Examine your own unconscious associations.
- Identify strategies to minimize the influence of unconscious associations on interactions with patients.
- Apply patient-centered communication skills to elicit and respond to patients' perspectives.
- Apply patient-centered communication skills to treat patients as individuals.
- Apply patient-centered communication skills to build trusting relationships with patients.
- Apply patient-centered communication skills to build partnerships for treatment.
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Van Schaik E, Sabin J, and Stoner S. Healthcare disparities: patients & providers: an e-learning course. Poster presented at: NIMHD Science of Eliminating Health Disparities Summit; December 17-19, 2012; National Harbor, MD.
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