Are America’s physicians inherently biased against minority patients? It’s a central claim of the radical activists who want to fundamentally remake healthcare along divisive, discriminatory lines. Yet there’s no credible evidence that such bias exists. In fact, the psychology test behind this claim has been roundly repudiated.
The “Implicit Association Test” (IAT) purports to show that people have deep-seated racial bias, regardless of whether they realize it. Developed a few decades ago, the test has been used to cast doubt on the fairness of many institutions and industries, healthcare included. Yet only recently have scholars and experts begun to critically evaluate the test’s quality. Their findings: The IAT test is anything but accurate.
A thorough review of the literature makes clear: “The IAT falls far short of the quality-control standards normally expected of psychological instruments. [It] is a noisy, unreliable measure that correlates far too weakly with any real-world outcomes.” Furthermore, it “was released to the public and excitedly publicized long before it had been fully validated in the rigorous, careful way normally demanded by the field of psychology.”
The IAT test’s shortcomings are so severe that even its own creators have acknowledged its insufficiency. Yet despite these facts, activists continue to claim that physicians are inherently biased and healthcare must be revolutionized to root out that bias.
This radical, fact-free campaign must be stopped. While bias is a possibility, physicians’ professionalism is a reality. They work tirelessly to meet the needs of each and every patient, regardless of skin color. They should be applauded, not attacked, and healthcare should be improved, not undermined.
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