Radical and ill-defined ideas on race are undermining medical education, writes former Harvard Medical School dean Jeffrey Flier.
I work for a hospital. We received a pdf on strategy for the coming year that included this in order from the CFO
Diversity Equity Inclusion
Social Determinents of Health
Find savings on IT Spend
Hmm, maybe if we quit focusing on things that have nothing to do with health, we would have the money for IT upgrades.
I don’t disagree with any of this. It is another example added to the collection of examples on why CRT and DEI are corrosive.
I think the big unanswered question is why? Why did this take hold in universities but not with plumbers from Alabama? A recent episode of honesty wonderfully described where the ideology came from. But not why?
Social contagion as a concept is moving in the right direction. But again why this contagion with these people? Why?
I’m working on a thesis to answer that digging into psychology research. I know the world is waiting with bated breath for the insights of a random person online. This is sarcasm just in case you can’t tell.
But I will ride a wave of hypomania to the answer. Which I am finding, and one day may attempt to get it published. Maybe write a book that I can give to people for free because who cares. I can toss copies out at the local farmers market. Or leave them randomly on the side walk.
"Ironically, the paper also made no reference to the founding of Mount Sinai in 1852 as the Jews’ Hospital, created to provide care to poor Jewish immigrants who, because of antisemitism, could neither obtain jobs as physicians, nor care as patients, in other hospitals."
You mean, Jews are NOT uber-white oppressors, enormously successful in a variety of fields only by marginalizing others?
Who woulda thought.
If I were a brilliant black doctor, film director, or any other professional, I would be upset that my reputation is tarnished by DEI. It’s bad enough that movies must pass DEI standards to be considered for an Academy Award, but if one goes to a doctor and sees that they are black, how terrible that the first thought is ‘are they qualified?’
This first picture really sticks with me. I was a medical student in 2014 when the “white coats for black lives” movement started. I was never political but I walked through the cafeteria to get lunch to about 40 students lying down in their white coats with similar signs. I honestly had no idea what was going on until someone informed me that they were lying there for 6 minutes “because that’s how long Michael brown was left with no medical care after he was shot”. Another student nearby said he was an EMT in south Chicago and it was common practice to wait until police or more help arrived before going into a known dangerous area after an officer involved shooting, many times 6 minutes or longer. There was finally a forum about a month later which essentially consisted of an echo chamber and virtue signaling about the incident. At that time the DOJ report had actually come out and given more clarity to the unfortunate events. At the end of the forum I had the opportunity to speak and said essentially a synopsis of what Dr. Flier said, “as doctors we must be objective and have these discussions before making the statement or judgement”. Because of my statement I was asked to speak at a board of directors meeting for the medical school. I was reactant to say yes but was ultimately convinced…..although I was validated in my concerns. I was told to just show up and talk but the “opposition” side had a fancy PowerPoint presentation with school decorum all throughout it and the schools DEI head standing with them. It was a witch-hunt to make me stop speaking up and unfortunately it worked. I just kept my head down in order to graduate.
That is why I am so thankful that there are people continuing to speak up about this. One of my biggest regrets was not continuing to speak up about this lack of objectivity that took hold of medical teaching nearly 10 years ago.
Between creating woke, Marxist doctors here in America, and importing Muslim doctors from South Asia, where can a Jew go today for medical care by a practitioner that doesn't hate them?
I hope he writes an opinion piece on how, for lack of another shorthand term, LGBTQ ideology has subverted the foundations of biology and undermined the decades of research and treatment based on the real differences between 'natal' male and female patients.
Medicine sure has had a rough couple years... I wonder if that lady thinks white lives are equally worth saving? I wonder who thinks unvaccinated lives are equally worth saving?
I graduated SUNY at Buffalo Medical School in 1969. My degree was "Doctor of Medicine" and not architect of social justice. The M.D. degree required us to pronounce, and take seriously, the Hippocratic Oath, which is famous for "do no harm" but also includes the following often forgotten statement: "Into whatever homes I go, I will enter them for the benefit of the sick, avoiding any voluntary act of impropriety or corruption, including the seduction of women or men, whether they are free men or slaves."
Except for examining patients with the knowledge of genetic predisposition to certain diseases based on race, and that distinction was learned SOLELY for the treatment benefit of the patient (such as Sickle-Cell-Anemia in Black people), color of skin or sexual orientation was never a factor.
My preceptor in the clinical years, James Holland, M.D., a world famous hematologist-oncologist, insisted that every patient was addressed as Mr. or Mrs or Ms. (there were no pronoun issues in those days), and we were never allowed to use a first name. That was drilled into us to teach us that EVERY patient deserved formal respect. Another thing he insisted on was that we do not sit on the edge of the bed of the patient as we were talking to him/her, as that patient deserved their formal "space." RESPECT was taught without special courses in D.E.I.; respect was S.O.P.!!!!
Was there racism in America? Yes. Was there racism in medical research? Yes, as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment certainly proves and that page in history also revealed a violation of standard medical ethics. Is there a racist physician in the USA? I'm certain there is but it is not prevalent in the least bit and, personally, in the 42 years I practiced Ophthalmology I intersected with hundreds of physicians and never met one who ever even expressed racial ideology!!!
Simply put: physicians treated patients with diseases (note "patients with diseases" and not just diseases). Are there outliers? If you watch any TV channel you will see ads for lawsuits against physicians who were sexual predators, so obviously there are outliers, but the outliers are rare and are seen disproportionately because of social media and class-action lawsuits. Except for dermatologists, physicians did not look at skin color.
In 2005, the State of NJ Board of Medical Examiners, required all licensed physicians to take a course in "cultural competency." Most of the contents of that course was preaching to the choir, as those in my lecture hall looked at each other in wonderment as to why are we re-inventing the wheel? On the examination I took for that course, believe it or not, there was a multiple-choice question regarding how to greet a patient who was from the Fiji Islands. So much for cultural competency courses and requirements!
Medical care is so complex and getting more so. Sadly, IMHO, it is being harmed by Wall Street, which includes the hospital conglomerates, the physician conglomerates, the pharmaceutical industry and the insurance industry. If you need an example, just look at the highway billboards and the TV ads, as all fight for the piece of the pie. It is not harmed by the claims of the D.E.I. movement.
D.E.I. will undoubtedly result in lower quality of care and I always thought that quality of care was what the practice of medicine was all about. Just as you do not prescribe antibiotics for a known viral disease, time spent on D.E.I. courses will be a waste, as the treatment is geared for a disease that does not exist. That time would be better spent on learning about real medical issues, such as disease, new treatments, etc.
My doctor, a concierge physician in suburban CT, tells me that residents coming out of elite universities like Yale are wildly unprepared to actually practice medicine. They are well versed in these insane tenets of anti racism but they can't effectively treat patients. He tells me he is very afraid for the future.
Very well done Doctor Flier. Thank you for having the courage and in taking the initiative to share this story. A few years ago I read and listened to Christopher Rufo discuss this insanity. He was (and still is by many no question) considered a radical for speaking out against this ideology. It’s encouraging to now see men like yourself choosing to do what you feel is right and just, simply because you sincerely care about the best outcomes for all.
“I suggested that the term anti-racist, though central to the mission of the school’s Racism and Bias Initiative (RBI), lacked a clear definition in their materials. The RBI discussion leader dismissively responded that “anti-racism was simply opposition to racism,” and that “anyone with a terminal degree should know that.” She then stated that the school’s anti-racism program was not about “encouraging pointless discussions of what anti-racism means.”
I couldn’t disagree more.
This ideology seems like a major airliner that took off in a big hurry, with a lot of fanfare, with all kinds of support, on a very noble mission, but not too long after take off they discovered there was no fuel in the tank, and now it is destined to crash.
Education has gone out the window with the advent of Critical Race Theory and DEI. Critical Race Theory started in the schools , then to Government, advanced to Corporate America and is now pervasive in every aspect of our society. It is absolute nonsense.
If I ever get sick when in North America I will make sure to get treated by a physisian who is at least 50 to avoid these Critical Justice Shamans....
This reminds me of Columbia School of Social Work DEI programs: Decolonizing Social Work and their PROP curriculum. Social workers and doctors provide excellent mental healthcare. Care should be evidence-driven- not a political agenda.
Terrifying for the future of medicine.... so, isn't "racism" treating someone differently based on the color of their skin? Or does it depend on WHICH color? I thought the color of ones skin had no bearing on their.
aptitude, abilities, intelligence, skills...etc. and certainly for medicine, shouldn't we be focused on TRUE color-blind equality to get the best doctors, surgeons, medical personnel? This SURELY should be outcome driven. DEI flies in the face of getting the best-qualified people in the appropriate spots!
I always thought that medical students would be vulnerable to social justice dogma: they are generally well-meaning individuals who want to do good in the world. I did expect their teachers to be wiser than to fall for it and to offer them some protection from the nonsense. I suppose that enough time has gone by that the professors are now graduates themselves of the social justice school, and that line of defense has crumbled. I confess that in my day at medical school (1976-1981 - takes five years in the UK) the intelligence of my comrades made them relatively resistant to BS, and whilst they learned to say the right words, they were cynical about things like the place of sociology in the curriculum. It took experience and maturity for me to see the value of a good social worker!
But the fact remains that it is hard to come out of medical school having learned enough not to be dangerous to patients. Any teaching in those few valuable years that is not aimed at making new grads safer is going to make it harder still by replacing important medical teaching with claptrap. And while our system of clinical trials is sometimes corrupted by pharmaceutical manufacturers, it is the best we have to be as sure as we can be about medical innovations actually working. It makes my blood boil to see "other ways of knowing" being introduced here. We might as well use a crystal ball or a divining rod to determine if a treatment works if we are going to do that.
Someone here referred to medical schools as trade schools, and that is largely correct. There is tradecraft to be learned, and just as I don't want, say, indigenous science and decolonized mathematics to be used in designing any aircraft I might fly in, I don't want such things to be influencing the treatment I receive from my doctors!