Mayo Clinic: Role-identifying badges reduce bias perceptions 

Clinicians were less likely to report role misidentification while wearing role-identifier badges, a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found. 

"We had heard recurring concerns from our trainees who were being misidentified by patients and other health care workers and not being recognized as resident doctors," Amy Oxentenko, MD, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist, said in an April 1 news release. "Because of conscious or unconscious biases, women are often assumed to be nurses or other allied health staff, and trainees from underrepresented backgrounds had shared that they were asked if they were from other hospital services, such as janitorial or phlebotomy."

Researchers studied 341 resident physicians at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., from October to December 2019 after an eight-week intervention in which residents wore badges that said "doctor." Of the 159 residents who returned surveys before and after the intervention, 128 wore the badges for the duration of the experiment. 

Residents who wore the identifiers were significantly less likely to report role misidentification at least once a week from patients, physicians and nonphysician team members. The 66 female residents included in the study also reported significantly fewer episodes of gender bias while wearing the badges.

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