Dr. Jared L. Ross

Jared worries the creep of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into the medical field will poison the dynamic between people in crisis and those trying to save them.

Dr. Jared L. Ross was nine years old when the Northridge earthquake hit.

“It was a cold January night, and my brothers and I were sleeping next to the fireplace,” he remembers. Early the next morning, the living room began to shake and a brass sculpture fell off the mantle, landing inches from Jared’s head and nearly killing him.

“From that moment on, I’ve been drawn to emergencies. I want to help people in their most vulnerable moments, in whatever setting they take place,” he says.

Jared has been a first responder, EMT, paramedic, firefighter, SWAT team member, and an Emergency Medical Services educator. When Do No Harm spoke with him, he had just returned from providing on-site safety and medical services at the Arizona Flying Circus, an event with aviation, pyrotechnics, flame throwers, and firearms. The week after, he planned to work in an emergency room at a city hospital.

The scope of scenarios that Jared encounters in these environments is wide, but they all have one thing in common: They are urgent. He worries the creep of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into the medical field will poison the dynamic between people in crisis and those trying to save them.

“If you want to find a primary care doctor, or a dentist, you can take time to find someone that is a good fit and get multiple opinions. In emergency medicine, you don’t have that luxury. If someone has been told that white males give them worse medical outcomes, and a white male EMT arrives on the scene, or they end up in the ER with a white male doctor, there may be a lack of trust. And that can be deadly in a life-threatening situation.”

Not only is there social pressure to subscribe to DEI ideology — it’s now required in order to stay certified with the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM).

In order to keep his certification, Jared is being forced to sign a Code of Professionalism stating that he will, “mitigate both implicit or explicit biases based on race, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, or religion when providing patient care.” 

“I can’t mitigate something that I don’t believe exists in the first place. But if you start challenging things like implicit bias, you are putting your livelihood at risk. There are plenty of things we can debate as emergency physicians—we can have an academic discussion about the best antibiotics to treat an open fracture, or what medication should be first line for atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response. But DEI is not open for discussion.”

Jared knows the risks of not signing the code. Losing his certification would make it hard, if not impossible, to work in any sort of hospital or medical establishment, even as an outside consultant. He’s still not going to sign it.

His certification is valid through the end of 2029, and ABEM is already making his job more difficult by restricting access to ongoing education requirements until he signs the code.

“They are looking for me to engage in racism and sexism in the name of equity. But equity and equality are inherently incompatible,” he says. “I won’t do it. It’s dangerous.”

Jared is holding strong on what he believes is safest for his patients. We are grateful for his courage and dedication to putting patient care before politics, regardless of the costs.

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