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Keywords

unconscious bias; implicit bias; hidden bias; healthcare disparities; healthcare inequality; COVID-19; SARS-COV-2; pandemic; ethnic and racial minorities

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences | Virus Diseases

Abstract

Background

There is limited data on unconscious bias in healthcare, but there is consistent evidence that it alters clinical decision-making. COVID-19 exacerbated many pre-existing disparities, and this paper seeks to identify, deconstruct, and propose mitigation strategies for a few of them.

Discussion

Five of the largest disparities amplified by the pandemic are discussed in this paper. Older people, Black people, uninsured people, rural communities, and people with lower education levels have been disproportionally affected in both morbidity and mortality.

Conclusions

The disparities discussed above did not occur in a vacuum but are the result of systemic issues. Equity starts with understanding and addressing the root cause, and it can be worked toward with practical and impactful solutions.

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