Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access




Vanessa Volpe

Committee Member

Terry Winegar

Committee Member

Vanessa Volpe

Department Chair

Brent Mattingly

External Reviewer

Lori Hoggard

Distinguished Honors

This paper has met the requirements for Distinguished Honors.

Project Description

Health disparities between marginalized social identity groups continue to persist. This study evaluates how attitudes of racial color blindness and sexual orientation blindness negatively impact patients with marginalized social identities. Racial blindness expresses the idea that race does not and should not matter, and of this race should not be incorporated into decisions or judgments about an individual. Sexual orientation blind attitudes are defined similarly. However, acknowledging a patient’s identity can be pertinent to their care. In order to evaluate how racial and sexual orientation blindness impacted LGBTQ+ and Black patients we surveyed 42 participants, 78.5% of which were practicing physicians, 9.4% of which were pre-medical students, and 12.1% of which were medical students. Participants self-reported racial color blindness, sexual orientation blindness, and responded to two clinical vignettes where response time was recorded. The first clinical vignette featured either a White or Black patient and the second clinical vignette featured a LGBTQ+ patient or a non-LGBTQ+ patient. Moderation analyses evaluated whether the relationship between racial or sexual orientation and time spent with patient was moderated either by patient race or patient sexual orientation, respectively. Moderation analyses were nonsignificant for both racial (ß = -1.30, p = .567) and sexual orientation analyses (ß = 28.77, p =.904). While these results are nonsignificant, this may be attributable to the fact that time spent with patient is not truly indicative of higher quality care. Future evaluations should examine the content of physician patient interactions.