That’s the sad reality as American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation hosts its Forum in Colorado Springs, from July 30th to August 2nd. The Board and its Foundation are actively undermining medical professionals and patients while claiming to empower them – to the point of endorsing discrimination, spreading misinformation, and lowering the standards of medical care and training.
Every American should care about this rank hypocrisy. ABIM not only certifies physicians and influences the care that patients receive, it also helps set priorities for the nation’s healthcare leaders. If physicians and patients don’t demand better, this storied organization will be responsible for hurting the health and well-being of millions.
The problem with ABIM and the ABIM Foundation is simple: They’re now putting identity politics and radical racial ideology ahead of medical professionalism and excellence. They rightly point out that health disparities exist among communities of color, but the solutions the Board and Foundation advocate couldn’t be more wrong. They’re as disturbing as they are destructive:
- ABIM is endorsing racial discrimination. The Board promises to be “actively anti-racist,” which requires discriminating on the basis of race, according to the founder of anti-racism. The Foundation is spending at least $400,000 to spread “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” trainings in hospitals, despite overwhelming data showing the ineffectiveness of these divisive programs. It supports journals like Health Affairs that now explicitly make publication decisions based on race, while partnering with organizations like the Macy Foundation that have committed to increasing the number of minorities in medicine “by any means necessary.”
- ABIM is spreading misinformation and eroding trust. The Foundation says it is focused on “combatting misinformation” and “building trust,” yet ABIM promotes demonstrably false concepts such as “implicit bias,” which tells patients they can’t trust physicians who don’t look like them. The Board also accuses healthcare of failing to practice “equitable, evidence-based medicine,” using evidence that doesn’t withstand even minimal scrutiny. At a time when physician burnout is at an all-time high, ABIM should back up such statements with proof.
- ABIM is lowering standards. After spending so much time and money maintaining medical standards, ABIM has made a stunning reversal in the name of diversity. The Board and Foundation partner with groups that support lower standards for medical school applicants. They want physicians to spend scarce time and resources on divisive political issues at the expense of clinical focus. ABIM has been hijacked by extremists and is now unmoored from its mission of improving the medical profession and all patients’ health.
This is no way to promote equal access and improve health outcomes for communities of color. Physicians and patients deserve to know that the American Board of Internal Medicine and its Foundation are hurting the people they claim to help.
How can the American Board of Internal Medicine cure itself?
- Renounce anti-racism and its call for racial discrimination.
- Renounce implicit bias, systemic racism, and unproven claims that undermine patient and provider trust.
- Commit to raising standards, not lowering them by putting diversity ahead of quality and safety.
Are you a member of ABIM?
Do you have ABIM certification?
Have you attended an ABIM Foundation summer forum?
If you’ve witnessed or suffered from this hypocrisy that’s undermining patient health and medical professionals, Do No Harm wants to hear from you – and help you.
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