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    Is UNC The High-Water Mark Of DEI In Post-Graduate Academia?

    June 2, 2023
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    On 1 June 2023, multiple media outlets reported that the medical school at the University of North Carolina was disbanding its task force created in 2019 to carry out recommendations from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) about admitting students and hiring/tenuring faculty. The AAMC reviews and accredits 157 US medical schools and over 400 teaching hospitals and has enormous hard and soft power over medical schools. Before this announcement, UNC had many DEI requirements including forcing medical school applicants to submit a letter explaining personal commitment to DEI.1 This seems eerily reminiscent of brown shirts in Germany professing allegiance with a chant and a stiff-arm salute to Adolf Hitler.

    This was no small feat. Just 10 days prior, on 22 May 2023, the President and CEO of the AAMC (Dr David Skorton), released the following statement to its member medical schools, hospitals, and societies:

    “Throughout the country, we continue to be challenged with misinformation, disinformation, and misguided anti-diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) actions that are confronting higher education and our academic medical institutions and that will harm the health of our communities. We want to underscore that the AAMC is here to support your efforts to lead in the name of diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial justice. Your commitment and dedication to this work is important, recognized, and lauded.”2

    Three days later, on 25 May 2023, the AAMC released the following public statement regarding a current Supreme Court case examining the constitutionality of focusing on race and ethnicity for college and grad school admissions.

    “Two cases under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court — Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina — seek to prohibit the limited consideration of an applicant’s racial or ethnic background in the higher education admissions process. The AAMC has urged the court to refrain from a broad prohibition on awareness of an applicant’s race, which for many applicants is a significant part of their personal story. Moreover, any action that comes with the risk of decreasing diversity in the health professions and limiting the ability to address existing and projected physician workforce shortages is contrary to improving our country’s public health.”3

    The AAMC has been very active in recent years to pour its DEI ideology over nearly every facet of medical education. News reports of students in CRT classes discussing microaggressions, structural racism, and critical race theory have appeared in recent years. Journals in medical schools, residencies, and physician specialty societies abound with an incessant focus on racial disparities in medicine. Just yesterday I received an invitation from the American College of Emergency Physicians to attend a 2-day course in Chicago to discuss racial disparities in trauma care. Do non-whites bleed differently than whites suddenly in 2023? Was I asleep regarding such DEI platitudes in medical school? Such discussions do little to advance scientific knowledge and actually drown out meaningful medical inquiry by merely using endless DEI slogans as an end in itself.

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    The AAMC’s influence in indoctrination of future doctors is so pervasive that medical schools and their students are now altering their Hippocratic Oaths as they pledge allegiance to DEI. The University of Minnesota medical school’s Hippocratic oath now includes the following chants:

    “We commit to uprooting the legacy and perpetuation of structural violence deeply embedded within the healthcare system.”

    “We recognize iniquities built by past and present traumas rooted in white supremacy, colonialism, the gender binary, ableism and all forms of oppression.”4

    In the Fox News article, Color Me United President Kenny Xu, who led protests against UNC’s DEI policy, emphasized the decision today as a win for patients. The dark reality of DEI and medical education is that it is achieving precisely the opposite of what it pretends to accomplish. AAMC has worked to increase admission quotas not on academic ability but simply on the color of applicant’s skin. Standardized testing to complete medical school are being eliminated to lower the bar on who can graduate medical school. Once selective medical specialty residency programs are pressured to choose future surgeons and other specialists based on DEI quotas, not projected aptitude to do superior patient care. The end result is graduating more doctors with lesser intellect and aptitude which surely will not improve the quality of care, especially for the historically marginally underserved populations in America. There is very little discussion on the more righteous long-term solution to improve the education and testing abilities of ‘underserved’ applicants. This would increase their numbers the right way and make medicine and, more importantly, patient care better.

    DEI proponents immediately and predictably condemned UNC’s move. Perhaps the animated debate will shed light on the weak DEI position that relies on censorship and threats of not accrediting institutions that don’t blindly comply with its DEI toxicity. Dr Xu is right. This is only one school, but is surely the David (UNC) standing up to Goliath (AAMC and DEI). We can only pray that more schools will follow.

    John Hughes, MD

    Veteran of Iraq, Afghanistan

    Member of starrs.us

    1. Tietz, Kendall. “University of North Carolina Renounces Its Own DEI Framework.” www.foxnews.com. 1 June 2023
    2. “DEI: A Strategic Priority for AAMC and Academic Medicine.” www.aamc.org/news. May 22, 2023
    3. Race Conscious Admission in Medical Education.” www.aamc.org/news. May 25, 2023.
    4. Lewis, Pennock. “'They're going to change the white coat next!' Top doctor slams University of Minnesota medical school for abandoning the Hippocratic oath by making students pledge to 'honor Indigenous ways of healing that's been marginalized by Western medicine.’ www.dailymail.co.uk. 24 October 2022.


    John Hughes

    Emergency Physician. United States Military Academy Class of 1996. #1 graduate. 3rd Generation West Pointer. 4 combat tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. www.americandoctor.org Member of STARRS.US & MacArthur Society of West Point Graduates.
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