Medical students' attitudes toward obese patient avatars of different skin color

Allen D. Andrade, Jorge G. Ruiz, Michael J. Mintzer, Pedro Cifuentes, Ramanakumar Anam, Joshua Diem, Orlando W Gomez-Marin, Huaping Sun, Bernard A. Roos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Physicians' biases for skin color and obesity may negatively affect health-care outcomes. Identification of these biases is the first step to address the problem. We randomized 128 U.S medical students into one of four animated videos of avatar physician-patient counseling sessions, varying the weight and skin color of an elderly patient avatar: white-thin, black-thin, white-obese and black-obese. Medical students viewed white obese avatars as unattractive, ugly, noncompliant, lazy, and sloppy. Medical students' comments suggested a paternalistic attitude toward avatar patients. Avatar-mediated experiences can elicit medical students' bias potentially enabling medical educators to implement bias reduction interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Pages23-29
Number of pages7
Volume173
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
EventMedicine Meets Virtual Reality 19: NextMed, MMVR 2012 - Newport Beach, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 9 2012Feb 11 2012

Other

OtherMedicine Meets Virtual Reality 19: NextMed, MMVR 2012
CountryUnited States
CityNewport Beach, CA
Period2/9/122/11/12

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Keywords

  • Avatars
  • Computer simulation
  • Health disparities
  • Physician bias
  • Undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

Cite this

Andrade, A. D., Ruiz, J. G., Mintzer, M. J., Cifuentes, P., Anam, R., Diem, J., Gomez-Marin, O. W., Sun, H., & Roos, B. A. (2012). Medical students' attitudes toward obese patient avatars of different skin color. In Studies in Health Technology and Informatics (Vol. 173, pp. 23-29) https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-61499-022-2-23