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DEI: Confronting Implicit Bias in Patient Care

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    • PT Member - $99
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    • Post-Professional Student - $50

Implicit associations are subconscious connections made between mental representations of objects and concepts in one’s memory. All conscious human brains make these associations. We form these associations as a result of our experiences, including our background and our exposure to mass media. These associations may foster positive, negative, or ambivalent feelings towards other individuals based on their outward characteristics, but they do not necessarily result in biased behavior.

Importantly, health professionals who are unaware of their biases may unintentionally cause harm to their patients via differences in the delivery of the care they provide. It is important for health professionals to recognize and confront any biases they may have that could become a barrier to providing optimal patient care. Patients commonly discussed in the literature as being the victims of clinicians’ implicit biases are those with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) or from historically-marginalized racial groups.

Confronting one’s implicit biases may afford clinicians an avenue through which to mitigate the negative impact of their biases. This is challenging, however, as traditional discussions of bias in a classroom setting are often intimidating to participants due to fear of judgment. This course will provide an opportunity for participants to address the implicit biases they may have regarding patients with SUD or from historically-marginalized racial groups. Ultimately, this course is designed to allow clinicians to privately reflect upon and acknowledge their implicit biases, with the hope of starting them down the path of conscious, meaningful change to providing more equitable care.

Learning Objectives:

1. Differentiate implicit bias from implicit associations within a personal and clinical context.

2. Acknowledge that racial and clinical biases may be operating in the clinical setting.

3. Recognize the impact of stigma on the care of patients with opioid use disorders.

4. Select appropriate tools to screen patients for substance use disorders and for post-surgical pain risk.

Roy Film


Dr. Roy J. Film is an assistant professor and the Director for Residency and Fellowship Education at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) in the Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science where he teaches in the areas of orthopaedics, persistent pain, and evidence-based practice. He serves as the Program Director for the UMSOM Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy as well as the Academic Director for the University of Maryland Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency. He is Board Certified in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT).

Dr. Film is APTA Maryland’s Vice President and AAOMPT’s National Secretary. He serves as a member of the World Health Organization’s Peer Review Group for Musculoskeletal Conditions, a group of 50 recognized experts in physical rehabilitation who develop international recommendations for global implementation related to Low Back Pain, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Fracture Management. He is the former taskforce leader for nonpharmacological pain management for US Army MEDCOM’s National Opioid Crisis Community Summit. He is currently a part-time PhD student in Epidemiology at the University of Maryland Baltimore where he studies nonpharmacological pain management approaches to combat the global opioid crisis.

Course Instructions

  1. Click on the Contents tab to watch the course recording.
  2. Click the Take Quiz button to complete the assessment. Learners will have 3 attempts to pass and must answer at least 70% of questions correctly.
  3. Click Fill Out Survey under the Evaluation listing to provide valuable course feedback. Scroll down on all questions as there may be answer options that expand past the size of the window.
  4. Click the View/Print Your Certificate button under the Certificate listing. You can view/print your certificate at any time by visiting the APTA Learning Center and clicking the CEU Certificate/Transcript link on the left-hand side of the page. 

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10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  7/10 points to pass Please complete the post-course assessment with a score of 70% or better. You have 3 attempts to obtain a passing score.
12 Questions
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CEU Certificate
Up to 0.20 contact hours available  |  Certificate available
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