Thomas Gallatin / July 28, 2022

The Awokening of Medical Education

The Association of American Medical Colleges seeks to indoctrinate students in the woke tenets of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Would you rather have your neurosurgeon be an expert in brain surgery or diversity? Put another way, what makes for a good doctor — his medical aptitude and abilities, or his gender and the color of his skin? The answer should be obvious, but according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, schools should spend more time training students in the tenets of woke ideology: diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The AAMC is advising medical schools to update their curricular standards to require students to master the Marxist-based elements of critical race theory. Using a woke worldview, the nonprofit organization asserts that systemic racism within the American medical community has led to a failure to fairly care for the healthcare needs of minority groups.

Rather than relying on science to diagnose disease and treatment, though, the new standards also want students to incorporate “knowledge of the intersectionality of a patient’s multiple identities” and know “how each identity may result in varied and multiple forms of oppression or privilege related to clinical decisions and practice.” In other words, rather than eschewing racism and classism, the AAMC wants students to be trained to treat patients differently based upon their race, class, or identity. And we thought medical school was tough enough already.

The AAMC wants medical students to be able to address how their own “identities, power, and privileges (e.g., professional hierarchy, culture, class, gender) influence interactions with patients” and identify “the impact of various systems of oppression on health and health care (e.g. colonization, white supremacy, acculturation, assimilation).”

All this is fascinating, especially the charges of white supremacy and colonization that these woke advocates are pushing. It’s the very same kind of oppressive control over belief and culture that they so vehemently criticize past generations for having engaged in.

The real question is, will any of this woke advocacy actually make for better doctors and improved healthcare? The answer is obviously “no.” Medical students have enough on their plates, as they seek to learn and master the demanding field of medicine. Heaping a politically motivated agenda on top of such a demanding curriculum is a burden that will only hamper the profession and dissuade talented candidates from entering the field in the first place. And that hurts everyone.

As the Wall Street Journal editorial board observes: “America faces a looming and severe doctor shortage as baby boomers retire. It won’t help attract prospective doctors to tell top students they must attend to their guilt as racial and political oppressors before they can diagnose your cancer.”

This is a destructive agenda being pushed by the Left, and it needs to be exposed. Are we still committed to producing the world’s best doctors, or are we opting instead for an army of white-coated virtue-signalers?

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