MSUCOM / SCSStatewide Campus System
August 13, 2013

The Negativity Bias, Medical Education, and the Culture of Academic Medicine: Why Culture Change is Hard

Julie Haizlip, MD, Assistant Professor, University of Virginia, Department of Pediatrics

Despite ongoing efforts to improve working conditions, address well-being of faculty and students, and promote professionalism, many still feel the culture of academic medicine is problematic. Depression and burnout persist among physicians and trainees. This talk proposes that culture change is so challenging in part because of an evolutionary construct known as the negativity bias. Dr Haizlip examines the concept of negativity bias in the context of academic medicine, suggesting that our culture is affected by serially emphasizing the inherent bias to recognize and remember the negative throughout medical education. The potential role of practices rooted in positive psychology will be discussed as powerful tools to counteract the negativity bias and aid in achieving desired culture change.

Download: MSU postive learning culture handout