Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Targeting Implicit Bias in Medicine: Lessons from Art and Archaeology


Implicit bias training is not currently a required component of residency education, yet implicit bias in medicine exists and may influence care provided to patients. We propose an innovative exercise that allows trainees to explore implicit bias outside of the clinical environment, in an interdisciplinary manner with museum anthropologists and archaeologists. The curriculum was designed with leaders at the Penn Museum and focuses on differentiating between objective and subjective assessments of historical objects. The first part of the exercise consists of a pre-brief, to introduce trainees to bias through the lens of an anthropologist/archaeologist. The second part guides trainees through“deep description,” where they explore objective and subjective findings of three different objects. The exercise concludes with a debrief and application of concepts learned to everyday clinical practice. This innovation was successful at introducing trainees to implicit bias in a nontraditional environment, and participants reported an improved understanding of implicit bias. Residency programs could consider partnering with local museums to implement a similar exercise as acomponent of conference curriculum.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View