What is Critical Race Theory?

Critical Race Theory, or CRT for short, is a divisive ideology that attributes all societal problems to racism. It holds that institutions are systemically racist and that individuals are inherently biased, while demanding that society must be fundamentally transformed as a result. It replaces the concept of “equality” with “equity,” which means that every racial and gender group should have the exact same social and economic outcomes, even if that requires treating people unequally.

In the context of healthcare, CRT holds that physician bias is to blame for different health outcomes among racial and gender groups. It proposes to remedy this reality by forcing medical professionals to provide different levels of care to different populations. This includes offering and denying treatments on the basis of race, including potentially life-or-death decisions. CRT-inspired policies and programs may violate federal law and the United States Constitution.

What is anti-racism?

Anti-racism, which is closely related to Critical Race Theory, holds that racial discrimination is praiseworthy and necessary. It seeks to overcome different outcomes among racial and gender groups by actively discriminating in favor of some people and against others. Anti-racism is fundamentally at odds with the American principles of equal treatment under the law and equal justice for all.

Within healthcare, anti-racism is making race and gender a determining factor in who gets certain medical treatments. That includes the denial of treatments for patients based on their skin color. It is also turning medical students and professionals into political activists by training them to care more about identity politics than caring for individual patients.

Are physicians biased/Is healthcare systemically racist?

There is no credible evidence that physicians are biased, or healthcare is systemically racist. In fact, the psychological test that is commonly used to prove such claims, the Implicit Association Test, has been thoroughly repudiated. Even its creators have acknowledged its shortcomings. 

Unfortunately, this fact has not stopped activists and ideologues from trying to transform healthcare along anti-racist lines, hurting patients and physicians in the process. Critical Race Theory is ultimately making health more biased and discriminatory, not less.

What’s happening in medical schools?

Medical schools are being taken over by anti-racist activists. They are demanding that future physicians be trained to combat injustice and racism instead of caring for the unique medical needs of each individual patient. 

At least 23 of America’s top 25 medical schools have made anti-racism a core part of their curriculum, while other institutions are creating anti-racist curricula to be implemented at schools nationwide. This divisive campaign will only lead to discrimination in healthcare, which is bad for patients. It will also hurt patient health and well-being by lowering standards for medical school and professional certification.

What’s happening in medical research?

Medical journals and scholarship are increasingly dominated by Critical Race Theory and anti-racism. The National Library of Medicine has more than 2,700 recent papers on “racism and medicine,” which generally purport to show that physicians are biased and provide worse care to specific racial and gender groups. 

Such scholarship is broadly faulty, and its conclusions are scientifically unsupported. It also crowds out real medical scholarship, stifling the innovation and insights that physicians need to improve patient health.

What’s happening in hospitals and doctors’ offices?

Medical providers are increasingly making race a determining factor in who gets what treatments, most notably COVID-19 vaccines. As Critical Race Theory and anti-racism become more embedded in healthcare, medical professionals will be forced to provide different levels of care to people of different racial and gender groups. Ultimately, identity politics will determine what care individual patients receive, regardless of their unique medical needs.

What’s happening in state and federal policy?

Both state and federal policymakers are embedding anti-racism into healthcare. States are beginning to require that medical providers take race into account when determining who gets treatments. The federal government is paying doctors to implement anti-racist plans – i.e., discrimination.

While some states have dropped these policies after widespread pushback, others show no signs of changing course, and neither does the federal government. Healthcare policy is at risk of forcing discrimination into every level of medicine and onto every medical professional and patient.

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