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Word of the Month

Each month, there will be a meaningful, positive word posted around campus, underscoring UMMC’s values. The “Word of the Month” is a visual reminder of the institution’s standards when it comes to the promotion of a respectful and inclusive environment. Words are posted in the elevators and bulletin boards around campus. Managers are encouraged to post the word in their departments or units and to use the word as a “talking point” to stimulate dialogue with employees.  

Word of the Month

November - UNCONSCIOUS BIAS

Definition:

Unconscious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from one's tendency to organize social worlds by categorizing.

Suggested talking points and questions:

  • How do we overcome the presence of unconscious (implicit) bias in health care settings?
  • How do we identify mechanisms through which implicit bias operates?
  • How does unconscious bias affect research?
  • What intervention methods can we implement to prevent unconscious bias?
  • How does unconscious bias contribute to health disparities?

Quotes from UMMC employees:

“It is important to realize that we may hold biases of which we are not aware. This doesn't mean we are a flawed person. We all have them. We need to be cognizant of our biases or of our potential biases. In situations where we may have a bias, we need to pause and think about how our opinions may have been swayed by the biases. We need to stop for a second and the always proceed with integrity.”

Barbara Jones
Administrator, Telehealth Services Administration

Resource:

Article: "Unconscious Bias in Academic Medicine: Overcoming the Prejudices We Don’t Know We Have" - AAMC