Research has shown that health care provider bias negatively impacts the provider-patient relationship and health outcomes. Studies have identified strategies effective at reducing bias, but there is minimal research implementing these strategies in health care settings, and little is known about effective curricular interventions to teach strategies to medical students. The purpose of the present study was to explore medical students’ experiences implementing evidence-based bias reduction strategies with their patients after participating in a bias reduction didactic. The study aimed to 1) determine which bias-reduction strategies medical students most frequently used, and 2) explore student perceptions of the effects of strategy implementation on the medical encounter. Investigators qualitatively analyzed responses to open-ended questions about medical students’ experiences implementing evidence-based bias reduction strategies with their patients. Two coders independently reviewed all responses, identified themes, developed codebooks, and double coded student responses. Coders identified three overarching categories of student-perceived implications of strategy implementation: implications for the provider, implications for the patient, and implications for the provider-patient interaction. Each category comprised multiple themes. Themes most frequently described by the students included the patient feeling more supported/psychologically safe, the student experiencing greater empathy for the patient, and an improvement in connection/rapport with the patient. Study limitations and the implications of findings to inform future research, instrument development, and bias-reduction curricular interventions with medical students are discussed.

LLU Discipline





School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Patricia M. Flynn

Second Advisor

Maya Boustani

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Empathy; Students, Medical; Emotions; Professional-Patient Relations


Doctoral Project

Page Count

x, 60 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

Included in

Psychology Commons