Fewer Med Students Immune from the Radical Left
September 18, 2019
So what if your doctor doesn't know how to treat your pain? At least he can tell you about your carbon footprint. In a medical field that's putting politics over patients, that's exactly what more physicians are worried about. There's a growing trend in some of the country's best schools, experts say, to emphasize radical social policy over actual medical study. So much so, Stanley Goldfarb warns, that the shortage of doctors might be less concerning than the shortage of knowledge they have when they graduate.
At places like the University of Minnesota, medical, nursing and pharmacy schools are working overtime to tweak their curriculum. Physician consortiums like Mona Sarfaty's are marching onto campuses and proclaiming that the greatest health danger of our century isn't cancer -- but climate change. "We must respond and make sure our health professionals are sufficiently educated," she insists. There's just one problem, Dr. Goldfarb fires back. This foray into social justice is coming at the expense of actual medical training.
In his Wall Street Journal piece, "Take Two Aspirins and Call Me by My Pronoun," Goldfarb shakes his head at the dangerous fallout from this indoctrination. Like the military, who, under Barack Obama, spent much of its time in sensitivity training instead of actual combat instruction, America may be sending an entire generation of medical professionals into the world completely unprepared. "Teaching these issues is coming at the expense of… medical science. The prospect of this 'new' politicized medical education should worry all Americans," he insists.
The traditional model, he explains, relies on a scientific approach. Of course, as anyone reading the last five years of headlines knows, science is exactly what the Left rejects -- on conception, gender, sexuality, and the environment. Mike Chupp, the new CEO of the Christian Medical and Dental Association, says he's heard from a number of medical students, who feel like they're the "incredible minority" in schools where the gun, transgender, and climate ideologies are being forced. "If I even ask basic questions about [gender]," one student told him, "I'm ostracized."
And yet biological gender, as Dr. Michelle Cretella explains, is crucial to accurately treating and diagnosing patients. "[M]en and women have -- at a minimum -- 6,500 genetic differences between us. And this impacts every cell of our bodies -- our organ systems, how diseases manifest, how we diagnose, and even treat in some cases." In instances of heart disease, for instance, certain drugs can endanger women and not men. Even diagnoses present differently in men and women. The symptoms for certain conditions, she explains, can manifest themselves in completely opposite ways. "And these are nuances that medicine is finally studying and bringing to light." So the idea that our schools would encourage students to focus on someone's "feelings" about their gender isn't just harmful -- but deadly.
"Where will all this lead?" Goldfarb asks. "Curricula will increasingly focus on climate change, social inequities, gun violence, bias and other progressive causes only tangentially related to treating illness. And so will many of your doctors in coming years. Meanwhile, oncologists, cardiologists, surgeons and other medical specialists are in short supply. The specialists who are produced must master more crucial material even though less and less of their medical-school education is devoted to basic scientific knowledge. If this country needs more gun control and climate change activists, medical schools are not the right place to produce them."
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.