Sheryl Heron, MD, MPH, FACEP, knows cognitive bias firsthand—and not just because she’s delivering this year’s James D. Mills, Jr. Memorial Lecture, “Overcoming Cognitive Blind Spots to Improve Outcomes” at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
It’s because Dr. Heron, the vice chair of administrative affairs in the Emory University department of emergency medicine, has been blinded herself. Like the time there was an African-American male reportedly found down with a concern for substance abuse.
Dr. Mills assumed from the team’s presentation that, because the patient was homeless, he was inebriated to the point of unconsciousness. In reality, the man was slated to sing for President Obama the next day at the White House and, in his excitement, mistakenly took too much Seroquel thinking it was blood pressure medication.