The University of California, Davis medical school gets top marks from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. And, a 2022 webinar reveals the disturbing playbook for achieving and maintaining their status as the wokest med school in America.
The video features remarks from school administrators on how the school succeeded in implementing “socially accountable admissions” to promote “transformation” of the physician workforce, which is a polite way of admitting that their admissions policies privilege race over indicators of applicant quality.
The admins are clear-eyed regarding how to go about subverting meritocratic admission: essentialize race and trivialize everything else. They assert that med schools historically look at the “wrong metrics” for admission decisions. MCAT scores, they tell us, are of limited value, and problematic because their use leads to “overrepresentation” of Asian physicians. Instead, they encourage med schools to publicly prioritize recruitment on gaps between the demographics of the general population and the physician workforce.
The admins warn that these radical ideas will inevitably encounter some skeptics and institutional inertia. They have a plan for that.
First, invent and enforce performative rituals that enforce ideological conformity. For example, require annual implicit bias mitigation training for everyone involved in the review of applications, and compel reviewers to read the school’s mission statement before every committee meeting to ensure “it’s at the front of people’s minds before they review an application.”
Second, recruit DEI commissars and deputize them to purge skeptics so that everyone is “talking the same talk and walking the same walk.” Having someone who “understands implicit bias” and “can apply it to situations at your institution is critical.” So is “looking at microaggressions (i.e., innocuous comments that individuals interpret as coded bigotry, like asking someone with an accent what country they hail from) “and addressing them across the medical school.”
Third, ensure that DEI commissars are zealots determined to outlast skeptics. In one particularly revealing moment, the Associate Dean of Admissions reveals annoyance that other administrators care whether students pass their Step One exams, which are required for medical licensure. You need to compile the right team and “stay with this work,” he assures viewers. “It’s a long game.”
The admins eschew incrementalism and caution and instead favor strategy befitting the radical tactics they endorse. The woke transformation of medical schools should be treated as a “burning (oil) platform” where individuals must either “jump into the water or perish in the fire…If it’s not burning there is no reason to jump. It’s not tweaking around the edges that is needed. It’s revolution.”
UC Davis has taken the plunge into revolution and appears to have crystallized its transformation. The playbook for achieving this mission elsewhere is clear. Vigilance, advocacy, courage, and common sense will need to be marshalled in force to curtail its contagion.
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