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Countering Implicit Bias and Racism in Healthcare

Te Whakakore i te Ngākaukino me te Kaikiri i roto i te Rāngai Hauora

Wednesday 19 February 2020

Update: This course is now full. If you would like to go on a waitlist, please email

What is bias? Am I biased? What can I do about it?

Implicit bias refers to the attitudes that we hold which affect our perceptions of the world and the people in it. Bias subconsciously impacts on our actions and decisions in everyday life.

This one-day interactive workshop will explore the different types of bias, how they are generated in our life, and how we can not only recognise our own implicit biases, but how we can choose actions and thought behaviours that serve to counter them.

Topics explored include; fast and slow thinking systems, bias and power, privilege, racism, and systemic bias. Presentations and activities in this summer school will guide reflections on bias both in the health system, and in our individual practice as health professionals.

Topics covered

  1. Implicit Bias
  2. Racism and privilege
  3. Personal and system responses to countering bias

Style of course

  • Small group – teaching, discussions and activities in a group of up to 30 people
  • Guest speaker presentation

Who should attend?

This course is aimed at those working or studying in the area of health who recognise a need for systemic change, and wish to explore their own thoughts, beliefs and practices with the view to ongoing personal improvement.

By the end of this course participants should have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Recognise implicit bias and identify its source
  • Describe and implement methods to counter bias in their personal attitudes and practice
  • Describe how bias, privilege and racism operate at a systemic level
  • Describe methods to counter systemic bias

Draft timetable

Time Session Presenter(s)
8:30am Registration  
9:00am Mihi, whakawhanaungatanga Caroline Shaw,
Shirley Simmonds
Recognising bias – activities Shirley Simmonds
10:30am Morning tea  
11:00am Implicit Association Test discussion  
Fast and Slow thinking  
11:30am Guest speaker:  Racism TBC
12:30pm Lunch break  
1:30pm Privilege Caroline Shaw
2.15pm Personal responses to countering bias Caroline Shaw
3:00pm Afternoon tea  
3:30pm System responses to countering bias Shirley Simmonds
Discussion, poroporoaki Shirley, Caroline
5:00pm Finish  

Speakers include:

  • Shirley Simmonds (Raukawa, Ngāti Huri, Ngāpuhi)
    Shirley is a kaupapa Māori health researcher, adult educator and mother of two sons Tamihana and Raukawa. Her research work has included; the DHB Māori health profiles, Māori health workforce development, Māori health ethics, and has contributed to the development of Kaupapa Māori Epidemiology. She is interested in contributing to a health system and research environment that meets the needs of whānau Māori.
  • Caroline Shaw
    Caroline is a Public Health Medicine Specialist and epidemiologist. She teaches the postgraduate paper in Environmental Health at the Otago University, Wellington and is involved in undergraduate teaching and curriculum development in the medical degree. Her current research is at the interface of transport, health and climate change. She has also undertaken research in the ethnic and socio-economic determinants of health, cancer control, population screening and obesity prevention.

Course cost and registration

$300 early bird, $400 after 19 December 2019.

A 50% discount is available to full-time students, those unwaged and University of Otago staff.