Word from the C-suite: 'Even physicians aren't aware of their own biases sometimes'

Sometimes the most insignificant moments can change the way a physician relates to his or her patients.

In an interview for an ongoing American Medical Association feature series, Fatima Stanford, MD, an obesity medicine physician at Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital, discussed the moment she recognized she was meant to be a physician. As a resident in obesity medicine, Dr. Stanford recognized that sometimes physicians are oblivious to their own personal biases about patients' consumption habits and their weight. As a result, she decided to work even harder to breakdown those preconceived notions and help her patients achieve their health goals.

"When I was a resident physician, I cared for a 45-year-old woman who struggled with severe obesity. I had been working with her for approximately three years and we never could make any major strides as it related to her weight through behavioral means. Once, I ran into her in the grocery store and took it upon myself to survey her grocery cart to check for the quality of food. It was at this time that I recognized the significant weight bias that I and others harbored toward persons with excess weight as it related to their food intake. Her grocery cart was one of the most virtuous I have seen: lots of lean protein, vegetables, whole grains and occasional fruit. This was one of the defining moments that led me to a career in obesity medicine."

Click here to view the full article.

If you would like to contribute a quote for this series, please email Alyssa Rege at arege@beckershealthcare.com to be featured in "Word from the C-suite."

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