Our Once-Trusted Institutions Are Falling For The Scam
There used to be a time when we could depend on graduate-level professional schools to be trustworthy and unflinching about the facts they taught, no matter the surrounding politics or worldviews. Those days seem to be over, unfortunately, as even medical schools are inserting wokeness into their curricula and policies.
We should have seen it coming.
We have known for years that universities and increasing numbers of K-12 public school leaders stand firmly on the political left. Most no longer try to hide their biases, which the American public finally seems to be understanding. The awakening for many people, especially parents, occurred over the past two years as we all had an unfettered look behind the curtain at teachers’ unions and their concerns only for their radical political agendas1. Students’ welfare was nowhere in the unions’ top priorities.
Medical schools are now on the same woke bandwagon.
But medical schools teach biology and scientific facts, don’t they? Surely we can still rely on them to prepare our future physicians with objective truth and ideology-free intellectual exploration. Think again.2
You can no longer assume that biology is the foundation of modern medical training.
As John Sailer3 with the National Association of Scholars4 has described, one well-known and respected medical school is leading the way in a “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Revolution”5. The University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine faculty are now required to profess their devotion to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) through new curriculum designs and in their individual lectures. They must weave social justice philosophies throughout their instructional materials and techniques,6 even when those ideologies have nothing to do with hands-on medical education.
What used to be universally recognized facts are no longer in style.
Sex and race are the cornerstones of the social justice movement in medical training. For example, medical school faculty are expected to insist that there is “a difference between sex and gender” and that “specific organs and cells do not belong to specific genders.” They are to teach their students that “race is not a set biological category”; they must use “inclusive LGBTQI+ language,” and they are to “explicitly include anti-racism content during lectures and small group discussions.”7
To aid in the indoctrination, UNC’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion offers an extensive list of “anti-racism resources8” that are recommended to medical school students. Suggested readings include “How to Talk to Your Relatives Who Care More About Looting than Black Lives,” “How to Talk to Your Children About Protests and Racism,” and White Fragility: Why It is So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.
Increasing numbers of medical schools are on board.
Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons recently released its “Guidelines for Promoting an Anti-Bias and Inclusive Curriculum.”9 Included in these guidelines is a disturbing paragraph for anyone who believes in treating patients as unique individuals with unique health issues:
A key principle that informs our approach to promoting an anti-bias, anti-racist, and inclusive curriculum is that race is a social construct (in contrast to biologic phenomena such as skin pigmentation). Racial categories (i.e., “black” or “white”) reflect social conventions rather than meaningful biological distinctions.
In addition, according to the new guidelines, men and women are not necessarily men and women: “[O]f two people who identify as women, one may carry a Y chromosome while the other does not; one may have a uterus or ovaries or breasts or a penis while the other does not.”
We have now plunged through the looking glass.
There are others.
The University of Michigan’s medical school produced an “Anti-Racism Oversight Committee Action Plan”10 in 2021 that outlines the need for a curriculum with an “intersectional framework” and a Critical Race Theory focus.11 The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Heersink School of Medicine has outlined its “Racial Justice Priorities”12 that include a private reporting (snitching) system “to address microaggressions, harassment, bias, and discrimination within the School of Medicine.” The University of Utah, the University of Minnesota, Duke University, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in New York City are other well-respected medical schools who also are aggressively instituting a social justice agenda.13
No promotion or tenure if you stray from the ideology.
What puts increasing numbers of medical school faculty in an untenable position is that if they hope to remain employed and advance in their careers, they must make social justice, intersectionality, and DEI concepts the center around which their instruction revolves. The School of Medicine’s website at UNC even offers a sample declaration14 that faculty might want to use:
As I move forward in my career, I intend to continue to include issues of equity and inclusion in my bedside teaching. I commit to annually attending a seminar offered by the University Office of Diversity and Inclusion to learn more about the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexual orientation in clinical care and medical education, and to confront my own biases and the biases of our medical culture to improve inclusivity in my environment.
The similarities to Chinese Communist struggle sessions are alarming.
The non-woke need not apply.
To make all of this happen, of course, the leaders of medical school departments and programs must be appropriately committed to social justice and DEI action. As described by Alex Parker,15 the October 2020 report of the UNC School of Medicine’s “Task Force to Integrate Social Justice into the Curriculum” emphasizes one critical point for hiring these academic leaders: they must have a “growth mindset” in the area of social justice for the medical school. Job applicants will have to demonstrate their commitment to political ideologies that satisfy social justice warriors, no matter the cost to the quality of foundational medical education.
Medical students are required to live by the dogma, too.
To be a student at an increasing number of elite medical schools today, one must learn not only about medicine but also about social justice advocacy – and then put it into action. Medical students at UNC, for example, are taught how to “deploy advocacy skills”16 in pursuit of such things as “restoring US leadership to reverse climate change,” “achieving radical reform of the US criminal justice system,” and “ensuring every single person’s vote counts equally.” This obviously has a political bent that pushes basic medical care to the side.
Even respected medical journals have caved to the extremists.
It used to be that the medical field looked to biology, genetics, and lifestyle as being probable causes of health disparities among racial groups. Research that implicated systemic racism as the reason for negative health outcomes among blacks, for example, was never taken seriously because it was viewed “as an amateurish detour from serious intellectual inquiry.”17
This changed dramatically in 2021 when the National Institutes of Health dedicated $90 million to “the chronic problem of structural racism”18 in medical research. Medical journals almost require this perspective for a researcher’s study to be published. Not succumbing to the new systemic racism narrative led two top editors of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), one of the most esteemed medical journals in the world, to be fired because they dared to ask whether structural racism is an unquestionable fact on which to focus medical research.
What does this mean for healthcare in the future?
An immediate response might be to never go to a doctor who graduates from medical school after 2021. Eventually this will be impractical, however, so it will be a burden on the consumer to seek out physicians who somehow have escaped the indoctrination. Concerned alumni should exert pressure on university administrators not to surrender to the propaganda. Boards of trustees and legislatures should also start investigating accreditation associations that are pushing medical schools toward social justice extremism.19
A backlash is beginning.
There are many doctors who have not succumbed to the indoctrination, thankfully, and they are actively trying to return our country to medical freedom and politics-free doctor-patient relationships. The best-known organization is America’s Frontline Doctors,20 created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of AFLD physicians, in all fields of healthcare, are working across the country against the politicization of medicine.21 They are even looking into developing clinics that will be staffed by physicians whose focus will be on medical facts, individual patients’ needs, and the most transparent research possible.
Alternatives like these should and will be sought if medical schools continue on their current paths toward unrecognizable medical philosophies.