Medical professionals succumbed to the idea that they were plagued by “systemic racism.” Those who promote this idea are making big bets with potentially fatal consequences. Public and private research funding is being redirected from basic science to political projects aimed at “dismantling white supremacy” in medicine. As a result, the quality of medical care declines and scientific progress slows down.
Virtually every major medical institution, from the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges to the American Academy of Pediatrics, has embraced the idea that racism and inequality will defeat healthcare. His 2021 organizational strategic plan for his AMA to incorporate racial justice and advance health equity is a thicket of social justice nostrum. And enhance equity within and across all aspects of the healthcare system. ”
In the name of fighting racism, medical and scientific leaders are apologizing for their race. In June 2020, Nature magazine identified itself as “One White Agency He”. [sic] Responsible for bias in research and scholarship. In January 2021, the editor-in-chief of Health Affairs lamented, “Our own staff and leadership are overwhelmingly white.” I owe it to the “white male legislators.”
Naturally, the remedy is race and other preferences. The AMA’s strategic plan states that “admissions to medical school and . . . ranks of leadership.” Voices of people and communities who have experienced great injustice, historically been excluded, exploited and deprived of much-needed resources, including people of color, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+, and people in rural and urban communities. and ideas are prioritized and integrated.”
At the end of the second year of medical school, students sit the first step of the United States Medical Licensure Examination, which measures knowledge of body anatomy, function, and dysfunction. Topics include biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, pharmacology, and cardiovascular system. A high score in Step 1 predicts success in residency. Very popular residency programs such as surgery and radiology use exam scores to select applicants. But some students complain that the pressure to get good grades is hampering their “anti-racism” advocacy.
A fourth-year Yale Medical School student explains in an online forum how the ghosts of Phase 1 influenced his priorities. During his first two years of medical school, he was “immersed” in student-led committees focused on diversity, inclusion, and social justice, and ran a podcast on health disparities. All of this political activity was made possible by Yale’s class pass/fail scoring system. In other words, he didn’t feel compelled to prioritize his studies over the issue of diversity. Step 1 then “raised its ugly head”. Getting real grades on the exam may prove “anyone who previously thought he was ineligible to enter Yale as a black medical student.”
The solution was obvious. Abolish the score in Step 1. Beginning in January, tests will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Yale students don’t have to worry about their studies affecting their activities. It is unclear whether his future patients will appreciate his chosen focus.
Virtually all medical schools admit Black and Hispanic applicants in their medical college entrance exams, and have scores that would make most white and Asian applicants ineligible if submitted. Some schools have completely exempted her MCAT for select minority students. Courses on racial justice and advocacy are flooding medical school curricula. Students learn more about white privilege and less about cytopathology.
College seniors deciding whether to apply to medical school can read the letters on the walls. A medical scientist reports that his best laboratory technician in his 30 years was a recent Yale graduate with a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and biochemistry. The former student was intellectually involved and an expert in cloning. His college grades and medical college entrance exam scores were high. The doctor-scientist recommended the student to the then dean of the Northwestern University School of Medicine, where the scientist was working at the time, but the student didn’t even get an interview. In the words of his former employer, this “white, clean-cut Catholic” was only admitted to one medical school.
Such stories are rife. UCLA doctors say the brightest undergraduates in the school’s science lab said:
Medicine has been one of the greatest drivers of human progress, freeing millions from crippling disease and premature death. We’ve also seen our share of dead ends and misconceptions, from the contagion and miasma theories of heroin as a cure for cough in children to thalidomide for morning sickness and frontal lobectomy.
The scientific method naturally corrects such fatal errors. Now, when it comes to the dubious hypothesis that racism is a defining feature of health professionals and a cause of health disparities, objections have been marginally ruled out. Political neutrality, an integral part of public policy, is a racist workaround that risks “strengthening existing power structures.” The guardians of science turned to science itself.
Mac Donald is a Contributing Editor of the City Journal and quotes from the Summer 2022 issue.
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