An anonymous member of Do No Harm recently contacted us regarding concerns about a charitable organization that is using its influence and resources to perpetuate concepts like anti-racism, health equity, and identity politics – all with an innocuous motto of “keeping healthcare human.”
The New Jersey-based Arnold P. Gold Foundation was founded in 1988 on the philosophy of “humanism,” and saw that, in 2020, its mission could easily link up with the goals of the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) movement.
The foundation “is dedicated to keeping healthcare human,” the organization touts on its website, adding it “champions humanism in healthcare,” which, it says, is its “Gold standard of care” that “embraces all and targets barriers to such care.”
The organization asserts it achieves its woke mission for an “equitable system” by actively “supporting innovation and creating tools and events to empower more people to elevate humanism in healthcare.”
Community organizing and an emphasis on diversity are also strategies used by the Gold Foundation to fulfill its mission to “change the world.”
“Bringing together diverse students, clinicians, healthcare leaders, and advocates to support each other in amplifying humanism in healthcare” is central to achieving “humanistic healthcare,” claims the foundation.
The American Humanist Association defines “humanism” as both a “progressive” and “rational” philosophy that is free of belief in God or “other supernatural beliefs.” Humanism “advocates the extension of participatory democracy and the expansion of the open society, standing for human rights and social justice,” the definition continues.
In a statement posted in June 2020, the foundation noted its DEIAR mission has been guided by “the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and other people of color who have been killed or harmed, have created a clear view of what Black Americans and people of color face daily.”
“It is time to come together to create the humanistic world that has been denied to so many,” wrote Richard Sheerr, Gold Foundation chairman, and Richard Levin, M.D., the president and CEO.
“It is time to come together to move actively toward a world with true equity in health,” the foundation officials added. “It is time to come together to address and dismantle racism.”
Resources provided on the Gold Foundation’s website include a diversity, equity, inclusion, antiracism (DEIAR) “collection” of selections from the organization’s library of “InSight Webinars,” defined as “conference sessions … podcast episodes, art galleries, and more, that related to promoting healthcare equity.”
One of these resources is a course offering titled “Dismantling Structural Racism” (designed in collaboration with NextGenU.org), which provides the following description of its content that stresses Critical Race Theory (CRT) and DEI concept of structural racism:
… an introductory exploration of the key concepts related to health equity, including structural racism, health inequities, and social determinants of health. Participants will develop a practice of self-reflection and learn how structurally racist policies have adversely impacted health. They will also identify strategies to begin dismantling these policies in healthcare organizations and develop an action plan to implement these strategies.
The course links to a similar resource called ShareTools, which features a photo of medical students holding signs in support of Black Lives Matter and White Coats for Black Lives – two organizations that have been thoroughly discredited and exposed in recent weeks.
Among the Gold Foundation’s “partners” is the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which oversees the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and cosponsors the accrediting body for all medical schools.
AAMC has made acceptance of its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) mission a dominant theme for U.S. medical schools.
Do No Harm Chairman Stanley Goldfarb, M.D., highlighted the AAMC’s influence in November 2022 at the New York Post. “Medical schools should fear a failing grade from the AAMC, which helps determine whether they get accredited,” Goldfarb said. “As a former associate dean, I can attest that when the AAMC sets priorities, administrators rush to follow them.”
Other partnerships include AAMC’s peer-reviewed journal, Academic Medicine; the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), an organization that sets standards for US graduate medical schools and the institutions that sponsor them; and the
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), which represents over 800 U.S. nursing schools and establishes education standards in nursing education.
The Gold Foundation’s influence on medical education is also seen in its establishment of the White Coat Ceremony, whereby first-year students in medical training programs don a white coat as a “rite of passage.” The first such ceremony is claimed by Columbia University in 1993, where Dr. Arnold Gold (the foundation’s namesake) served as a pediatric neurologist.
White coat ceremonies “are now found in nearly every medical school in the country,” the foundation boasts, adding the white coat “serves to welcome students to healthcare practice and to elevate the value of humanism as the core of healthcare.” However, the oaths recited at some of these ceremonies have been highly politicized in recent years. As Do No Harm reported in March 2022, the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Class of 2025 revised oath had the students promising to “recognize the acts and systems of oppression effected in the name of medicine” and “acknowledge the past and present failures of medicine to abide by its obligation to do no harm.”
The Arnold P. Gold Foundation has obviously had far-reaching influence in the infiltration of radical ideologies into medical education, partnering with prominent organizations to spread its damaging and discriminatory messaging with its unwavering commitment to identity politics. The return of merit and equality to physician training and the healthcare industry depends on the dissolution of these types of associations so that Americans can have their trust in the system restored.
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