Indiana University (IU) is continuing to embrace the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) movement despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in June that race-based admissions policies and practices are unconstitutional.
IU is offering a 10-week course between February and April 2024, for example, for individuals who wish to be “certified” in DEI “leadership.” The fee to participate in the program is $2,500, which includes seven online sessions, keynote speakers who are considered DEI “industry leaders,” case studies, “thought-provoking” assignments, and a certificate “ceremony.”
The $2,500 fee does not include travel to and from the program’s two “in-person sessions.”
“Participants must have at least five years of experience in a private, public, or non-profit organization, be open to feedback, have the capacity for self-examination, and be willing to challenge their beliefs and biases,” IU says are prerequisites of the program.
An email sent to IU alumni in August, and obtained by Do No Harm, also shows the school is offering past graduates a 10 percent discount off the fee for the certification program.
“Research shows that diverse organizations are likelier to outperform non-diverse companies, including profitability and creativity, stronger governance, and better problem-solving abilities,” the email’s promotional message reads and adds:
Through IU’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Certification Program, build skills to develop a community that embraces a culture of belonging that positively impacts employee performance and engagement and organization innovation, resiliency, and profitability.
In medical schools, DEI is often expressed via the “health equity” movement.
IU’s School of Medicine, for example, is offering a symposium in November titled “From Analysis to Action: Advancing Health Equity Through Learning Health System Research.”
The program is sponsored by IU’s Health Equity Advancing through Learning health systems Research (HEAL-R) Collaborative, whose mission is “to promote health equity scholars and scholarship.”
The course’s overview is steeped in concepts of Critical Race Theory (CRT), including “structural racism” and “institutional oppression”:
Addressing the impacts of structural racism and other institutionalized forms of oppression on the delivery of health care and health inequity requires a dramatic transformation of how our health care systems function. The “learning health system” (LHS) model, in which internal data and experience are systematically integrated with external evidence, and that knowledge is put into practice, holds great promise to foster more responsive and equitable systems of care.
The symposium’s overview says it is “designed to connect trainees and health professionals from a variety of fields … who are focused on bringing quality health care and services to historically excluded, underrepresented, and marginalized patient populations.”
The conference is taxpayer-funded, by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), which joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in 2010.
NIMHD says its mission is focused on social and political factors related to health care, and promotes the view that minority individuals have greater health problems because of discrimination:
The examination of biological factors is fundamental in understanding the development and progression of diseases and has traditionally been the focus of research on minority health and health disparities. NIMHD has been a leader in increasing the scientific community’s focus on non-biological factors such as socioeconomics, politics, discrimination, culture, and environment in relation to health disparities.
“Through NIMHD’s leadership, health disparities has become a recognized scientific field of study,” the institute touts.
On its website, IU School of Medicine boasts it is “committed to advancing culturally competent medical education, clinical care and research.”
The school’s programs are “aligned with three foundational pillars: representational diversity, inclusive working and learning environment, and cultural competence.”
The goal of “representational diversity” is achieved, says the school, by recruiting “trainees, faculty and staff from various backgrounds with focused efforts toward identified diversity categories,” and efforts to create an inclusive environment.
Providing excellent health care, IU Medical School continues, comes from “culturally competent, patient-centered care” that eliminates “health disparities.”
However, Do No Harm Chairman Dr. Stanley Goldfarb has recently warned again of the dangers of emphasizing social and cultural factors that actually do not “determine” health, as radical DEI ideology claims, but rather “affect behaviors associated with health status.”
In a piece in September at City Journal, Dr. Goldfarb argues that “physicians need to practice medicine, not worry about the ‘social determinants of health.’”
He cautions the medical establishment against its drive to push the divisive narrative that “no one should attribute any health-care disparities to individuals’ self-determined actions.”
Dr. Goldfarb labels “absurd” any recommendations that assume “doctors can take on the role of social workers,” who are trained to manage “systemic” factors such as “housing issues, transportation, and health-insurance status.”
He observes as well that requiring such training in the “social determinants of health” is a waste of medical schools’ funds and influence, when a more advanced level of medical training should be the goal.
“[T]his vision of the doctor’s role in society is profoundly flawed and will only lead to further degradation of our health-care system,” Dr. Goldfarb warns. “Worst of all, it will not do anything to improve the well-being of patients or correct disparities in health outcomes. In fact, it is far more likely to worsen patient suffering, since patients will increasingly deal with doctors trained to be political activists instead of true medical professionals.”
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