Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Obesity Bias Common Among Medical Students

Are doctors biased against obese patients?


Overweight and obese people are often the butt of jokes and the victims of bias, yet one would think they could at least find civility in the doctor's office.

Not necessarily so, according to two separate studies. One study revealed that many medical students have an unconscious anti-obesity bias, mirroring medical instructors, and another showed that obese patients are more likely than normal-weight patients to switch doctors because of negative interactions with their physicians.

The study of medical students was conducted by researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and appears in the July issue of the journal Academic Medicine. The researchers found that nearly two out of five medical students at Wake Forest had an unconscious, or implicit, bias against obese people.

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