CULTIVATE: Combating Unequal Treatment in Healthcare Through Virtual Awareness and Training in Empathy

CULTIVATE (Combating Unequal Treatment in Healthcare Through Virtual Awareness and Training in Empathy) will use VR to deliver diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training to healthcare providers.

In the United States, racial biases have been tied to poor health outcomes and difficulties accessing healthcare. Structural racism affects BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) patients' experiences navigating and accessing healthcare, and it also impacts the quality of the care they receive. CULTIVATE will put non-BIPOC healthcare providers in their Black and Latinx patients' shoes using VR-based training scenarios simulating BIPOC patients' experience accessing healthcare. This project aims to understand if changes in medical education enhanced by VR will improve health access and health outcomes of BIPOC people.

white doctor wearing virtual reality goggles

Project Goals

  • The researchers conducting this study want to find out if virtual reality can be used in medical education to help reduce implicit bias.
  • The project aims to develop virtual reality scenarios that put healthcare providers in the shoes of BIPOC patients navigating the healthcare system.
  • Researchers want to determine if the changes in medical education enhanced by new technology, like virtual reality, will improve health access and health outcomes for BIPOC communities.

Learn more about this project on KQED

Research Team

Madhavi Dandu, MD, Co-Investigator​
Alicia Fernandez, MD, Co-Investigator​
Orlando Harris, PhD, FNP, Co-Investigator​
Ali Mirzazadeh, PhD, MD, Epidemiologist/Advisor
Mike Reid, MD, Co-Principal Investigator
Kelly Taylor, PhD, MS, Co-Principal Investigator
Susie Welty, MPH, Program Manager
Nova Wilson, MPH, Program Coordinator
Jeremy Bailenson, PhD, Stanford, VR Advisor​