Radical ideology is at risk of being embedded in medical school curriculum nationwide. Recent reports indicate that the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is developing educational standards that will force students to learn – and professors to teach – ideas grounded in “anti-racism.” Make no mistake: This is a corruption of medical training.
Specifically, the AAMC is developing competencies that medical students must demonstrate in order to graduate. According to the most recent drafts, they must be able to explain how patients “present varied and multiple forms of oppression or privilege.” They must also be able to discuss how “white privilege, racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, religious oppression” affect patient “health outcomes.” Less clear is how medical students should actually help their patients lead healthier lives.
Similarly, medical school faculty must be “role models” who “engage in reflective practices related to individual identities, power, and privileges.” And they must inform student “clinical decision making and practice” according to ideology, not sound medical standards. Practically speaking, these competencies mean professors must teach students to discriminate on the basis of race, which is utterly unacceptable and dangerous to patient health.
If these standards move forward, the next generation of medical professionals will be activists first and foremost. In fact, the AMMC competencies make that clear by calling on medical students to learn “system level strategies to remedy the impact of systems of oppression on health and health care.” That’s the last thing we need at any medical school, much less all of them.
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