The New Year not only brings resolutions for many people, it also brings new laws. One of those new laws in Illinois will affect every licensed healthcare professional in the state. As of January 1, every licensee will be required to complete a one-hour course in implicit bias awareness. This course will be part of the required medical education the state requires.
What Is Implicit Bias?
Racial disparities are present in employment, education, housing, and multiple other areas in this country. Many people may not even be aware of their part in it. This is referred to as implicit bias. Implicit bias is a term used to describe the unconscious prejudice a person may feel about a person, group, or thing. The biases can be either favorable or unfavorable. The feelings are triggered without the person’s awareness, completely involuntarily. According to professionals who have studied the issue, implicit biases cannot be addressed through introspection since they are unknown to the individual.
Implicit biases can occur when the individual meets new people, interacts with other employees, or even in their interactions with other parents at their children’s baseball games.
They can also occur in interactions between medical providers and their patients. Racial disparities and implicit bias are also present in healthcare. A study conducted in 2015 found that most healthcare workers have moderate implicit bias. And although these biases are unconscious feelings and providers have no ill will towards their patients, the study did conclude that implicit biases can affect the quality of the provider-patient relationship.
New Training Requirement
The state of Illinois is addressing medical provider implicit bias head-on with this new training requirement. All training must be provided by an education provider approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).
According to the new regulation, the training will address:
The differences between implicit and explicit biases
The causes of implicit biases
The harm implicit biases can cause
How to recognize and deal with implicit biases
Additional License Requirements
In addition to the new implicit bias training requirement, there are two other trainings for physicians that will now be required in order to keep their medical license in good standing. Doctors will now be required to complete training in both mandated reporter training and sexual harassment training.
The IDFPR has also announced that they also plan on adding Alzheimer’s and dementia training requirements sometime in 2023.
Contact a Cook County Professional License Defense Attorney
If you have been notified that your professional license is under threat for failure to meet required regulations – or for any other issue – call Williams & Nickl, LLC at 312-335-9470 to meet with a skilled Chicago medical license defense attorney and find out what legal options you may have.