Original Publication
Open Access

Healthcare Disparities

Published: January 19, 2014 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9675

Included in this publication:

  • Healthcare Disparities Instructors Guide.docx
  • HealthcareDisparities_OnlineLMS.zip
  • HealthcareDisparities_Offline.zip
  • Healthcare Disparities Resource List.pdf

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


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.

Educational Objectives

After completing module one, learners will be able to:

  1. Define health care disparities.
  2. Describe examples of racial and ethnic health care disparities.
  3. Explain why health care disparities matter.
  4. Identify sources of racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

After completing module two, learners will be able to:

  1. Define the term unconscious associations.
  2. Describe situations where unconscious associations are useful or a normal shortcut in medicine.
  3. Examine your own unconscious associations.
  4. Identify strategies to minimize the influence of unconscious associations on interactions with patients.

After completing module three, learners will be able to:

  1. Apply patient-centered communication skills to elicit and respond to patients' perspectives.
  2. Apply patient-centered communication skills to treat patients as individuals.
  3. Apply patient-centered communication skills to build trusting relationships with patients.
  4. Apply patient-centered communication skills to build partnerships for treatment.

Author Information

  • Eileen Van Schaik, PhD: Talaria, Inc.
  • Alex Howson: Thistle Editorial, LLC
  • Janice Sabin: University of Washington

None to report.

None to report.

Prior Presentations
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.


Van Schaik E, Howson A, Sabin J. Healthcare disparities. MedEdPORTAL. 2014;10:9675. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9675