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Unconscious bias in medicine

Thursday 16 January 2020 10:43am

In this lecture Associate Professor Angela Ballantyne gives us an insight into unconscious bias and how it affects our actions and lives. Every female doctor or medical students has probably experienced unconscious bias and may have lost count of the number of times that patients have referred to them as nurse or after finishing the consultation they have turned to the tall male medical student and asked the doctor what they think.  Angela tells us why we unconsciously make these kind of mistakes and how our exposure to M*A*S*H, ER or Grey's Anatomy influences our lifelong beliefs about healthcare professionals and shape our working lives.  Finally, she suggests way in which we can start to tackle the problem.

Associate Professor Ballantyne is a Bioethicist at the University of Otago in Wellington.  Her research interests include exploitation, research ethics, the ethics of pregnancy and reproductive technologies, and secondary use research with clinical data. She has worked in schools of Medicine, Primary Health Care and Philosophy in New Zealand, Australia, England and the United States; and as the Technical Officer for Genetics and Ethics at the World Health Organization in Geneva. In 2018 and 2008 she was a Visiting Scholar at the Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics.