Unconscious Bias Education at MUSC

Unconscious Bias (UB) is one part of the overall inclusive excellence work across MUSC. Inclusive excellence refers to the richness of human differences and the intentional engagement with each other through professional development, education, policy, and practice. Inclusive Excellence is about stories. It encourages us to notice who is at the table and who is missing from the discussion. As we become more diverse, we have more frequent encounters with what is unfamiliar. Consequently, we may find ourselves more surprised by our own assumptions. Recognizing and intentionally working on our UB is the next step in encouraging and supporting healthy conversations, behaviors, and policy around MUSC.

Unconscious Bias—also known as implicit social cognition—refers to thoughts and feelings that are outside of conscious awareness and control. These occur at both an individual and institutional level. There are many forms of cognitive biases that humans have developed out of the need to rapidly process new and extensive amounts of information. Unconscious bias can be particularly insidious because what we are unaware of, we don’t address, and we may unintentionally promote. Increasing awareness of bias and assumptions and their role in evaluation is an important first step in minimizing their influence. There is a vast literature on unconscious bias. This page provides links to some online resources and a list of suggested strategies for minimizing bias in faculty recruitment. Click the links below to review.

Register for the Recognizing and Challenging Unconscious Bias Workshop in OurDay!

Unconscious Bias

Overview of the Concept of Unconscious Bias in Academic Medicine  

AAMC- Associate of American Medical Colleges

Individual learning around identifying and addressing unconscious bias

Implicit Association Test (IAT)

Project Implicit is a non-profit organization founded by researchers from the University of Washington, Harvard University, and the University of Virginia.  Its goal is to educate the public about hidden biases and to function as a virtual laboratory for collecting data on unconscious bias. We encourage you to take the online implicit association tests and further explore possible personal biases. 

Implicit Bias Training

The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity through Ohio State University is a recognized leader in the area of inequity and bias. We encourage you to explore the Kirwan Institute training modules around implicit bias.

Identifying and Interrupting Bias

Bias Interrupters is an evidence-based model developed through the Center for WorkLife Law that provides tools and solutions for interrupting the constant transmission of bias in basic business systems. This approach leads to more diverse and better performing workplaces. Bias Interrupters change systems, not people. Their website provides tools for both individuals and organizations. Consider exploring the Center for Worklife Law website.

Strategies for Minimizing the Impact of Bias in Recruitment 

Click here for a list of specific interventions for addressing unconscious bias in the context of faculty recruitment. The strategies, adapted principally from WISELI's Searching for Excellence and Diversity® Guide (see pages 35-59), are grounded in research.