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Contact and role modeling predict bias against lesbian and gay individuals among early-career physicians: A longitudinal study., Social Science & Medicine

Abstract

Rationale Physician bias against sexual minorities can hinder the delivery of high-quality health care and thus contribute to the disproportionate prevalence of negative health outcomes within this population. Medical students' interpersonal experiences within the context of medical school may contribute to this bias. Objective The goal of the current research was to examine the relationship between these interpersonal experiences, reported by heterosexual, cisgender medical students, and explicit and implicit bias against lesbians and gay individuals, reported two years later during second year of medical residency. Method Data were collected by surveying students (n = 2940) from a stratified sample of U.S. medical schools in fall 2010 (first semester of medical school), spring 2014 (final semester of medical school), and spring 2016 (second year of medical residency). Results Amount and favorability of contact with LGBT individuals, reported during the final semester of medical school, predicted lower levels of explicit bias against lesbian and gay individuals during second year of medical residency. Additionally, exposure to negative role modeling, also reported during the final semester of medical school, predicted higher levels of explicit bias against lesbian and gay individuals during second year of medical residency. Amount of contact with LGBT individuals – and in particular, with LGBT medical students – predicted lower levels of implicit bias against lesbian and gay individuals during second year of medical residency. Neither favorability of contact with LGBT individuals nor exposure to negative role modeling predicted implicit bias against lesbian and gay individuals during second year of medical residency. Conclusion These results suggest that interpersonal experiences during medical school can systematically shape heterosexual, cisgender physicians' subsequent explicit and implicit bias against lesbian and gay individuals.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Natalie M Wittlin, John F Dovidio, Sara E Burke, Julia M Przedworski, Jeph Herrin, Liselotte N Dyrbye, Ivuoma Ngozi Onyeador, Sean M Phelan, Michelle van Ryn

Date Published

2019

Citations

Wittlin, M Natalie, John F Dovidio, Sara E Burke, Julia M Przedworski, Jeph Herrin, Liselotte N Dyrbye, Ivuoma Ngozi Onyeador, Sean M Phelan, and Michelle van Ryn. 2019. Contact and role modeling predict bias against lesbian and gay individuals among early-career physicians: A longitudinal study.. Social Science & Medicine. 238

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