News Roundup | Week of March 2, 2018

By Megan Bedford on 3/2/18 1:59 PM

Bias Impacts Research in Precision Medicine

Unconscious bias can lead to negative outcomes for disadvantage patient populations, even when that bias occurs behind-the-scenes in research settings. A new report from Data & Society identifies several ways that datasets can become biased, including historical bias, analytical bias, and access to different types of genetic data. “Bias through invisibility—such as lack of data on certain factors—can trigger discriminatory outcomes just as easily as explicitly problematic data,” note the authors.

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News Roundup | Week of January 26, 2018

By Megan Bedford on 1/26/18 5:20 PM

Unconscious Bias Shielded Larry Nassar

The country was shocked this week by the sentencing of Dr. Larry Nassar, formerly the USA Gymnastics team doctor and an osteopathic physician at Michigan State University. Dr. Nassar confessed to serial child molestation after being accused of abusing at least 150 underage girls during his career. A piece in The Atlantic argues that Nassar's behavior was sheilded by the tendency of medical providers to doubt female pain. This tendency stems from unconscious bias that labels women as "hysterical," "emotional," and inherently less trustworthy than men. 

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News Roundup | Week of January 1, 2018

By Megan Bedford on 1/5/18 10:52 AM

Unconscious Bias Impacts Non-White Maternal Health

In the U.S., black and brown women are more likely to experience medical complications in pregnancy than white women, and their babies are more likely to die or have serious health problems. This disparity is one reason why the U.S. has such high maternal and infant mortality rates compared with other developed countries.

As recent reporting shows (see past Roundups 12/4/17 and 12/18/17), this gap is rooted in healthcare providers' unconscious biases surrounding race and ethnicity, and cannot be explained by socioeconomic differences.

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News Roundup | Week of December 4, 2017

By Megan Bedford on 12/8/17 3:34 PM

Black Women Are Dying In Childbirth Due to Unconscious Bias

Black women are far more likely than white women to die of childbirth-related complications—and the gap is widening. In fact, the disproportionate number of black maternal deaths in the U.S. is one of the reasons our overall maternal mortality rate is so high compared to countries with similar economies.

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