Could implicit bias lead to medical malpractice?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

Doctors in Virginia use many tools and other things to diagnose what is wrong with you. They often rely on their own knowledge when making judgment calls and determinations. Sometimes, they may also unconsciously use bias in a diagnosis. According to The Washington Post, implicit bias may often result in an incorrect diagnosis.

Implicit bias may lead a doctor to make certain assumptions about you based on factors such as age, gender or race. Other factors that do not play a role in your health, such as sexual preference and education, may also be a part of a doctor’s bias.

Some bias may come from a doctor’s personal feelings and prejudices. In other cases, it is a lack of knowledge or experience. Some doctors may not focus on the symptoms and instead focus on the patient, which can lead to them missing obvious signs of a condition. There is also an issue within the medical field where doctors learn how to diagnose based on the symptoms of a white male, which makes it difficult for them to understand the presentation of symptoms in anyone who is not white or male.

Implicit bias is generally not something the doctor is even aware of. This can make it difficult to prevent. However, you should be your own advocate. If you disagree with the doctor ask for a second opinion or seek out care from another facility. A misdiagnosis can lead to serious, long-term issues, depending on the condition, so you have the right to find the truth. This information is for education and is not legal advice.