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The Mirage News: Clinician peer networks remove race and gender bias

From Mirage News: University of Pennsylvania study published today in Nature Communications offers striking evidence that network science can be used to remove race and gender bias in clinical settings. The study, led by Professor Damon Centola of the Annenberg School for Communication and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, offers an effective new way to ensure safer, more equitable health care for women and minorities through managing clinician peer networks. Using an experimental design, researchers showed that clinicians who initially exhibited significant race and gender bias in their treatment of a clinical case, could be influenced to change their clinical recommendations to exhibit no bias. “We found that by changing the structure of information-sharing networks among clinicians, we could change doctors’ biased perceptions of their patients’ clinical information,” says Centola, who also directs the Network Dynamics Group at the Annenberg School and is a Senior Fellow of Health Economics at the Leonard Davis Institute. “Put simply, doctors tend to think differently in networks than they do when they are alone.” Read the full story in Mirage News. 

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