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87. Availability Bias | Skewed risk assessments from a pervasive cognitive distortion
Episode 8712th September 2022 • Stimulus | Helping Doctors overcome burnout, excel in leadership, and unlock their most fulfilling careers • Rob Orman, MD
00:00:00 00:36:35

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We’re all guilty of it, basing decisions on the most recent event. It’s surely part of our wiring. The question is - what do we do about it? In this episode, Justin Morgenstern breaks down availability bias: what it is, how it shows up in life and medical practice, the difference between learning and bias, research showing availability bias happening in real-time, and ways to turn availability bias from a bug into a feature.  

Guest Bio: Justin Morgenstern is a community emergency physician with a passion for education, resuscitation, and evidence-based medicine, Purveyor of the amazing First10EM blog, Justin works in the Greater Toronto Area. 

On a personal note, Justin and I met years ago at a conference in the Bahamas. He was in the audience and was such an incredible contributor to a group conversation that I had him come up on stage and be a panel member. Since then, I’ve found that he is a rare mix of humility, genius, and kindness.

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For full show notes of this episode and all sorts of other goodies, visit our podcast website

We discuss:

  • Availability Bias and how it relates to everyday decision-making. 
  • What is availability bias;
  • Where this shows up in clinical practice;
  • Learning is not availability bias;
  • Whether more testing is the right path for subtle presentations of life-threatening diseases;
  • Testing thresholds;
  • Tips for avoiding availability bias in our practices;
  • Real world example of availability bias;
  • Justin’s tools for addressing bias;
  • Ways to hack the bias.




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