Doctor founds public interest group to combat race-based ‘woke ideology’ in medical schools

Doctor founds public interest group to combat race-based ‘woke ideology’ in medical schools
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (Image: YouTube screen grab)

“A doctor and former medical school administrator founded a nonprofit organization in opposition to “anti-racist” initiatives and other ideologies in healthcare, particularly in medical schools,” reports The College Fix:

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a former associate dean of curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, founded “Do No Harm” to unite healthcare workers, policymakers and patients “in a moral mission” to resist ideologies that he argues subvert best practices.

Do No Harm aims to “protect healthcare from a radical, divisive, and discriminatory ideology.”

“Medical providers are increasingly making race a determining factor in who gets what treatments, most notably COVID-19 vaccines,” the Do No Harm FAQ reads. “As Critical Race Theory and anti-racism become more embedded in healthcare, medical professionals will be forced to provide different levels of care to people of different racial and gender groups.”

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The initiative points to evidence of radical ideology in schools from sources like criticalrace.org, which cites a large range of schools, from Ivy League institutions to state universities, that now require students take classes either expressly listed as guided by critical race theory or by “anti-racist” principles.

“At least 23 of America’s top 25 medical schools have made anti-racism a core part of their curriculum, while other institutions are creating anti-racist curricula to be implemented at schools nationwide,” the nonprofit states on its website. “This divisive campaign will only lead to discrimination in healthcare, which is bad for patients.”

In a mid-April op-ed in The Wall Street Journal titled ”Keep Politics Out of the Doctor’s Office”, Goldfarb argues radical ideology in healthcare has had negative effects on patient health outcomes….Goldfarb flagged “White Coats for Black Lives” as evidence of increasing activism in medical schools. In his op-ed, he described the group as attempting to have “administrators reframe curriculum around reparations for slavery, decarceration of prisoners, and other topics with no bearing on training doctors to care for individual patients.”… Goldfarb also pointed to specific hospitals as evidence of the use of racial ideology in healthcare by noting that “Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston (Harvard’s teaching hospital) is moving toward ‘preferential care based on race’ across the board.”

Criticizing illegal racial preferences or woke ideology can get a doctor fired by a medical school or hospital. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center removed a doctor, Professor Norman Wang,  from his position as Program Director of Electrophysiology, after he politely criticized affirmative action.

Some law professors called Wang’s removal a violation of the First Amendment. Law professor Eugene Volokh said affirmative action is “an issue which people should be debating. But instead of debating it, basically the University of Pittsburgh is saying: ‘We will remove you from your positions, if you express these views.’” Volokh said Wang’s article was protected speech, because it did not indicate he would refuse to carry out any University policy, nor did it disrupt any university functions. Former Assistant Attorney General Roger Clegg called Wang’s removal from his position “reprehensible.”

Dr. Wang’s criticism of affirmative action was mild and not racist in any way. Indeed, Dr. Wang explained how race-based affirmative action harms some black and Hispanic medical students by setting them up to fail:

Racial and ethnic preferences at both the undergraduate and professional school levels for blacks and Hispanics result in relatively weak academic starting positions in classes. This has been postulated to lead to poor performance through compounding ‘academic mismatch,’ stress‐related interference, and disengagement. Many do not complete their intended programs or do not attain academic success to be attractive candidates for subsequent educational programs or employment…

Dr. Wang’s concern — that affirmative action can harm the very people it is intended to help — is shared by respected academics and legal commentators. Stuart Taylor is a legal commentator who used to write for the Legal Times and graduated first in his class at Harvard Law School. He and Professor Richard Sander wrote a book about how lower admissions standards harm many black students. Their book is titled, “Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It.”

Far harsher criticism of affirmative action than Dr. Wang’s has been ruled protected speech by the courts. The California Department of Corrections attempted to fire prison guard John Wallace after he angrily denounced its affirmative action plan to the Hispanic female employee he perceived as benefiting from it, at his expense. An appeals court ruled this criticism of the plan was protected speech, and ruled he couldn’t be fired for it, in Department of Corrections v. State Personnel Board, 59 Cal.App.4th 131 (1997).

A federal appeals court ruled that an “assistant fire chief in charge of personnel” could express opinions at odds with “city policy on affirmative action” to a minority group, without being fired. (See Meyers v. City of Cincinnati (1991)).

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.

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