Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2020

Department 1

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Medical bias has been successfully characterized through two-way bias theory and the concept of the "normal body" and further divided into implicit and explicit bias. Yet, many individuals who go to the doctor are still given insufficient care because of their gender, race, class, sexuality, etc. Medical Education offers a unique opportunity for bias reduction both through formal and informal training. It is crucial that, as they are taught how to save a patient’s life, medical students are also taught to empathize with all patients and to give every patient, regardless of their gender, skin color, or class, the most optimal care possible. Non-bias training has been integrated into medical schools in hopes of combatting this issue, yet results have been mixed. I conducted an evaluation of the bias education material of two Pennsylvania medical schools in light of five pedagogical strategies for effective bias reduction that I gleaned from a review of the relevant literature. These strategies are: promoting a safe space, promoting self-awareness of bias, teaching the science behind implicit bias, exploring the effects of bias on health outcomes, and creating an emotional link between patients and practitioners. My study reveals that medical schools’ approaches do draw from intersectional feminist insights, such as epistemic humility, but are quite inconsistent between schools. These results indicate incongruities between medical bias reduction research, and its practice, and provide evidence for the need for further research.


Written for WGS 400: WGS Capstone Seminar

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.