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The impact of implicit bias and emotional intelligence on physician attitudes and behaviors

Journal of Psychology & Clinical Psychiatry
Alan H Rosenstein, Alexa Rose Rosenstein


Implicit (subconscious) bias is defined as the tendency to process information based on unconscious associations and feelings, even when they are contrary to one’s conscious or declared beliefs. They can have a profound effect on shaping values, perceptions, and attitudes that impact judgment, decision making behaviors, relationship interactions, and event outcomes. This is particularly important in the health care sector where physicians are the driving force behind the care management process and discriminatory behaviors can impact decisions that affect patient relationships and clinical outcomes of care. In an effort to enhance care relationships we need to gain a better understanding of the cause and effect of implicit behaviors, raise levels of awareness, enhance individual and organizational awareness and sensitivity, accountability, and responsiveness, address resistance, and provide appropriate education, training, and behavioral interventions to assure access and equity in delivering high quality patient care. 


behaviors, emotional intelligence, physician, stressed