Woke ideologies are reshaping medical education in the Volunteer State
University medical schools, university-affiliated medical centers and academic science programs around the country have become infused with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs and anti-racism ideology. The words “diversity,” “equity,” and “inclusion” can have positive connotations when used on their own. But when they are combined into “DEI,” the result is usually a worldview, mindset, and ideology that reduces complex reality into simple categories of oppressor and oppressed. In healthcare, it means skipping over complex phenomena that lead to disparate health outcomes for various identifiable demographic groups and wielding the label “structural racism” or “white privilege” as the explanation. Further, it puts practitioners, particularly white ones, in a can’t-win situation. They are said to be tainted by implicit bias and must be required to receiving training on that topic. If they protest that this is not the case, that protestation is interpreted as a sure sign of racism and justification for mandated bias training. But DEI has moved beyond race. It now incorporates stances on sexuality and novel ideas about gender identity. In short, when the world of DEI infiltrates the world of healthcare, faulty diagnoses and prescriptions follow. A medical education becomes an occasion for reshaping society and expectations about what it means to be human.
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