Michelle van Ryn, PhD, MPH (pronouns: she/her) is a dynamic, inspiring and compassionate speaker. Her deep commitment to making a difference and truly accelerating progress by translating scientific evidences into practical and effective approaches shines through everything she does. She formed Diversity Science to support organizations and groups in achieving their inclusion, equity & diversity goals by providing evidence-based deep assessment, consulting and training. Past or current clients include Kaiser-Permanente, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Park Nicollet Health Care System, the Minnesota Department of Health, Children’s Hospital of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Medical School and the National Association of Emergency Physicians. Her work aims to translate the best current evidence into practical and effective approaches for achieving true equity, and deep diversity and inclusion. She is recently retired from the Grace Phelps Distinguished Endowed Professorship at the Oregon Health & Science University. She moved to that position after serving as the Director of the Research Program on Equity & Inclusion in Healthcare at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
Dr. van Ryn’s research focused primarily on the way “invisible actors,” such as informal organization norms/diversity climate, implicit (unconscious) biases, inter-group anxiety, and stereotype threat affect social interaction processes and decision-making. The ultimate goal of her work is to ensure all patients, clients and students receive equally high-quality care, services and education in fully inclusive organizations. Dr. van Ryn is the Principal Investigator in an on-going, NIH R01-funded, national study of changes in attitudes that affect disparities in care, including unconscious biases, experienced by medical trainees over the course of their medical school and residency. In addition, she is the scientific director of a health care system-wide Diversity Climate Assessment with over 30,000 participants. Her work has improved the national awareness of how providers contribute to disparities in patient care and has led to greater understanding of how improved health care encounters positively impact patient outcomes. She has provided evidence-driven training to dozens of organizations, has been invited to give over 75 presentations on her research, both nationally and abroad, and she has authored over 107 journal articles, abstracts, and other written publications.
In recognition of her work, Dr. van Ryn has received several awards and honors, including the Rackham Award for Most Promising Dissertations (conferred by the University of Michigan), the Lena Rowland Award for Best Preventative Intervention (conferred by the National Mental Health Association), and the 2014 Forum Best Oral Presentation (conferred by the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare). She serves as a standing grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health Social Psychology and Individual Personality Study Section and has served as an ad hoc reviewer numerous times for a variety of organizations including the National Institute of Minority Health. Dr. van Ryn also a member of numerous professional societies and associations, including the Association for Health Service Research; the American Psychological Association; the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy; the National Association of Diversity Offices in Higher Education and the American Academy for Healthcare Communication.
- Brief video on implicit (unconscious, automatic) bias in health care encounters
- 5 minute talk IGNITE! talk on the way implicit biases affect emotional empathy to create a barrier to deep motivation for change.
Michelle On the Web
- Stereotyped to Death
- Minorities, poor receive fewer strong painkillers
- Targeting Unconscious Bias in Health Care
- Fighting the subconscious biases that lead to health care disparities
- Race and Bias from the Classroom to the Exam Room
- We will not realize the American dream’ until racism in health care changes
- Researching unconscious bias in healthcare
- Discrimination in Healthcare
- Protecting Yourself and Others from Stereotype Threat
- Working towards health equity and the lies we tell ourselves