In April 2023 we reported that the KU Medical Center (KUMC) and the University of Kansas School of Medicine (KUSOM) were partnering with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) to sponsor the REPAIR Project, a far-left anti-racism program. But a subsequent public records request has revealed KUMC’s plans for how to inject divisive anti-racism ideology into the KUSOM curriculum.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Do No Harm obtained the Scope of Work document for the KU Medical Center REPAIR Project collaboration with The Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City. Among the text describing the purpose of the project (i.e., “to address Anti-Black Racism and augment Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) voices and present in Science and Medicine”) was a revealing statement about KUSOM’s intentions for the material:
This project addresses racism in health care as an educational problem by providing a theoretical framework for coordinating and implementing social justice and anti-racism curriculum throughout the university.
KUMC’s funding contribution to the project totaled $10,000.
The financial contribution from KUMC to this program is a relatively minor amount for a large academic medical center. However, the implications for the KUSOM curriculum are substantial. The integration of rhetoric that stems from the far-left agenda of UCSF – a university system that has very little in common with an institution in America’s heartland – is fraught with consequences. The ideas about racism in healthcare that the REPAIR project is perpetuating are purely theoretical constructs with no empirical data to support them. The dyad of “oppressed” vs. “oppressors” as the only means for individuals of different racial backgrounds to interact with each other is one that has been created out of thin air by ideologues whose motivations have nothing to do with the human-to-human interaction that physicians have with their patients. Simply making these assertions does not transform such a philosophy into reality, nor does it require compliance with the ensuing demands.
Slavery did exist a century ago, and indeed, there has been a history of mistreatment of people simply because of their race. However, every disparate outcome is not the result of a particular patient being mistreated, and pointing out past wrongdoing does not justify the current anti-racism crusade. Concepts such as “medical reparations” and “decolonizing the health sciences” are not topics that are worthy of the limited instructional time that medical students have to learn their craft. KUMC and the KU School of Medicine have an obligation to teach future doctors how to recognize illness and treat medical conditions based on their patients’ individual needs, not a group identity intended to promote a social justice narrative.
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