• Saundra Smyrski

Implicit Bias To Blame?



Past research has led to the conclusion that men recover easier, following a stroke, than women and more women die, from a stroke, than men. In a recent study, risk factors unique to women were studied.


Dr. Chaturvedi, the Stewart J. Greenebaum Endowed Professor of Stroke Neurology emphasizes, "Some primary care physicians hesitate to use anticoagulants in older women because of fear of bleeding."


Steven Messe, MD, and professor of neurology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, carries on stating, "Some evidence showed that women who present with acute ischemic stroke are less likely than men to get IV tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)." He then inquires, "The toughest questions are why there are differences in treatment? Is it due to the implicit biases that doctors carry with them when they talk to women as opposed to men?"


To conclude, Stacie Demel, DO and assistant professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine mentions, "I think a big take-home point is to ensure that we are as aggressive in treating women as men."


Could your STROKE case be a matter of poor clinical judgement or implicit bias? Absolutely!


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