Ep. 424 Implicit Bias in End-of-Life Care with Kimberly Curseen MD

Learn why cultural humility and awareness of hidden bias are essential in reducing racial disparities in care at the end of life.

My guest Dr. Kimberly Curseen is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and Palliative Care. She is the director of Supportive and Palliative Care Outpatient Services for Emory Healthcare and helps provide physical, emotional, and spiritual care for patients with cancer at any point in their disease process. She has helped educate physicians on implicit bias in healthcare and has written research articles for the Journal of Palliative Medicine and the Journal of Pain Symptom Management on structural racism and bias in palliative care. We discuss specific issues leading to racial inequities in healthcare and what we need to do to make changes and improve care at the end of life. Learn more about Dr. Curseen’s work:


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This episode includes:

  • How Dr. Curseen became interested in hospice and palliative medicine
  • What is “implicit bias” and how we can recognize it
  • Her work in rural Arkansas to educate community members and healthcare providers on implicit bias
  • Why we need “cultural humility” along with cultural competency training
  • How implicit stereotypes and biases contribute to racial inequities in healthcare
  • The current problem of racial disparities in pain management
  • Why improving racial disparities in advance care planning and hospice utilization must begin with our own personal work on hidden biases
  • How end-of-life care providers can develop cultural humility and a person-centered approach in their work
  • Why we need to change what we offer in end-of-life care to fit the patients that need care, rather than trying to force patients to fit into our existing model

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