Harvard School of Public Health Maintains the Health Equity Drumbeat
Harvard is once again using its ample resources to distribute inflammatory information in service of divisive identity politics. The Harvard Chan School of Public Health recently hosted a one-hour panel discussion, titled The Fight for Equity: Reforming Health Care Systems from Within, that had more to do with indoctrination than medicine – and some moments deserve special attention.
For example, to kick off the webinar, moderator Akilah Johnson of The Washington Post asked the panelists to define “medical racism” and “health equity.” The replies largely set the tone for the presentation. Efram Flores, M.D. from Mass Brigham said he thinks about “the many faces of discrimination and hate.” Kedar Mate, CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, was sure to include unconscious biases in his definition, adding that health equity is “justice.” And Lashyra “Lash” Nolen, a medical student at Harvard, stated that “racism came before race,” and the institution of medicine was the “epicenter” of racism in society.
None of these answers are grounded in medical reality, research, or education. They demonstrate how thoroughly the health care elite have been corrupted by woke ideology: They’re expected to pay lip service to race-based concepts instead of accurately diagnosing the health care system’s actual challenges.
Fortunately, Linda Villarosa, contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, provided a different definition. “[H]ealth equity means that once you enter that system,” she said, “you get treated fairly, and you get treated justly, and you get treated with care.” This answer actually aligns with traditional descriptions of medical ethics, yet it was overshadowed by the tone of the rest of the panel.
Predictably, the conversation turned to anti-racism training – which is grounded in the idea that racial discriminatory is justified to right historical wrongs. Johnson asked the panel if anti-racism training would be helpful, and Nolen said that “from the first day of class,” medical students learn that “whiteness is the standard in medical education.” Flores suggested that equity must be embedded into “the fabric of the DNA” of everything physicians do every day.
It kept getting worse. Johnson noted that she has received feedback to stories she has published that claim, “doctors can’t be racist,” and asks how “institutional inertia” can be overcome. Mate stated that when organizations implement anti-racism training, resistance must be anticipated. “[I]f we’re not meeting with resistance,” he added, “we’re probably not pushing very hard.”
Yet resistance to anti-racism training is exactly what’s needed. Physicians and medical professionals should absolutely speak out when they are wrongly accused of being racist or encouraged to discriminate by race in pursuit of woke ends. Such resistance shows that medical professionals know that their profession is being corrupted and needs to be saved.
To conclude the webinar, Johnson asked the panelists how the momentum in the health equity movement can be sustained. Villarosa, who is teaching pre-med students at the City University of New York, said that she is instructing them on “how to interview like a journalist,” and informing them that they “are going to be harmed” by attending medical school. “The system isn’t fair to anyone, including you,” she tells the students. Nolen encouraged participants to continue the activism they engaged in “after the murder of George Floyd,” and Mate declared, “Inequity is not our destiny. Equity is.”
Once again, these statements demonstrate that medical education is being turned into indoctrination. The focus isn’t on training the best possible physicians, but rather the best possible political activists – patient care be damned.
This webinar was presented in partnership with the Harvard Public Health Magazine, which, as Johnson noted, “devoted its entire fall issue to structural racism and health.” The publication continues to push the narrative expressed in the Fight for Equity webinar with articles like “Reparations will save Black lives;” “Taking steps toward anti-racist healthcare;” and “What science tells us about structural racism’s health impact.” As with so much else in medical research these days, these pieces and arguments have more to do with a politicized narrative than finding and promoting better treatments, cures, and practices.
Harvard Public Health says the system is sick and getting worse, yet it propagates false narratives that that are intended to divide and misinform. Perhaps the institution should make the same diagnosis for itself.
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