Cognitive Bias in Dermatology and Dermatopathology - European Medical Journal

Cognitive Bias in Dermatology and Dermatopathology


This session will explore cognitive bias in medical practice, with specific examples from within the field of dermatology. Starting with a definition, examples of cognitive bias in practice will be described, with reference to associated medical error and attempts to debias and reduce this.

Themes covered include:

  • cognitive bias defined: what it is and what it is not;
  • recognising positive and negative bias, as well as any potential benefits;
  • associated medical errors and examples of bias in practice;
  • using pattern recognition, improving diagnosis, and deliberate practice; and
  • debiasing and reducing diagnostic error.


Christine Ko is a Professor of Dermatology and Pathology at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. She received her BA at Princeton University, New Jersey, USA, and MD from New York University (NYU) School of Medicine, New York City, USA. She completed her internship in internal medicine at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA; her dermatology residency at University of California, Irvine, USA; and her dermatopathology fellowship at UCLA. She is the creative mind behind Dermatology: Visual Recognition and Case Reviews and Dermatopathology: Diagnosis by First Impression. Her first book for the general audience, How to Improve Doctor-Patient Connection: Using Psychology to Optimize Healthcare Interactions, was inspired and driven by advocating for one of her children. She also hosts a popular psychology podcast.

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