Studies have found that medical errors trail only heart disease and cancer as a leading cause of death around the country. Massachusetts residents seeking medical care should be aware that a doctor's bias about a patient can result in a misdiagnosis. This is a trend that is likely to continue unless biases are closely examined.
In a study that was published in Perspectives on Medical Education, researchers assert that general practitioners have to experience the consequences of making a misdiagnosis based on their bias before they can fully comprehend the impact that bias has. Researchers tried to develop a workshop that would decrease the chances of biases negatively affecting a medical diagnosis. The workshop was conducted on the theory that simply informing students about biases was insufficient. In order to be effective, medical students had to experience the results of bias in an environment that allowed them to make errors without suffering severe consequences.