The disastrous decline of the practice of medicine 4

Can you trust your doctor to be qualified in Medical Science? Or was he awarded his degree because he scored a pass in Diversity Studies?

Beware! The latter is more likely now to be the case.

Medical schools and medical societies are discarding traditional standards of merit …,”  Heather Mac Donald writes in an authoritative and important article at City Journal which we quote in part.

Why are they doing that?

… in order to alter the demographic characteristics of their profession.”

Virtually every major medical organization—from the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) to the American Association of Pediatrics—has embraced the idea that medicine is an inequity-producing enterprise. The AMA’s 2021 Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity is virtually indistinguishable from a black studies department’s mission statement. … Physicians must “confront inequities and dismantle white supremacy, racism, and other forms of exclusion and structured oppression, as well as embed racial justice and advance equity within and across all aspects of health systems”. The country needs to pivot “from euphemisms to explicit conversations about power, racism, gender and class oppression, forms of discrimination and exclusion”.  (The reader may puzzle over how much more “explicit” current “conversations” about racism can be.)

In other words, the policy-makers of the profession, being convinced that Blacks are innately less  intelligent than Whites and Asians, are lowering standards and introducing new criteria of evaluation by requiring skills in hitherto unrelated subjects (such as “communication and interpersonal skills”), in order to have more black doctors. Their motive is impeccably virtuous. Blacks must be saved from feeling inferior.

(It doesn’t apparently strike them that by lowering standards to achieve this aim they are declaring their firm belief that Blacks are inferior.)

Of course they never say they think Blacks are less brainy than Whites and Asians. They claim that the reason Blacks generally score lower in exams is because they are subjected to race prejudice and discrimination.* They are therefore less healthy, and therefore less able to study.

In accordance with the idea that racism causes racial health disparities, they are changing the direction of medical research, the composition of medical faculty, the curriculum of medical schools, the criteria for hiring researchers and for publishing research, and the standards for assessing professional excellence. They are substituting training in political advocacy for training in basic science. They are taking doctors out of the classroom, clinic, and lab and parking them in front of antiracism lecturers.

If this is not done, the medical school’s existence may be terminated:

Faculty are responsible for teaching how to engage with “systems of power, privilege, and oppression” in order to “disrupt oppressive practices”. Failure to comply with these requirements could put a medical school’s accreditation status at risk and lead to a school’s closure.

These exotic ideological obligations cannot be shrugged off by the trained doctor once he has his degree and starts practicing his profession:

According to the AAMC, newly minted doctors must display “knowledge of the intersectionality of a patient’s multiple identities and how each identity may present varied and multiple forms of oppression or privilege related to clinical decisions and practice”.

Research will be well funded – provided it is spent  on advancing the ideological doctrine:

They have shifted billions of dollars from the investigation of pathophysiology to the production of tracts on microaggressions.

Funding that once went to scientific research is now being redirected to diversity cultivation. The NIH and the National Science Foundation are diverting billions in taxpayer dollars from trying to cure Alzheimer’s disease and lymphoma to fighting white privilege and cisheteronormativity.

Which means that “white privilege” and “cisheteronormativity” (translation: being of European extraction and sexually normal) are worse afflictions than Alzheimer’s disease and lymphoma.

Private research support is following the same trajectory. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute [HHMI] is one of the world’s largest philanthropic funders of basic science and arguably the most prestigious. Airline entrepreneur Howard Hughes created the institute in 1953 to probe into the “genesis of life itself”. Now diversity in medical research is at the top of HHMI’s concerns. In May 2022, it announced a $1.5 billion effort to cultivate scientists committed to running a “happy and diverse lab where minoritized scientists will thrive and persist” in the words of the institute’s vice president. “Experts” in diversity and inclusion will assess early-career academic scientists based on their plans for running “happy and diverse” labs. Those applicants with the most persuasive “happy lab” plans could receive one of the new Freeman Hrabowski scholarships. The scholarships would cover the recipient’s university salary for ten years and would bring the equivalent of two or three NIH grants a year into his academic department. If an applicant’s “happy lab” plan fails to ignite enthusiasm in the diversity reviewers, however, his application will be shelved, no matter how promising his actual scientific research.

The HHMI program and others like it amplify the message that doing basic science, if you are white or Asian, is not particularly valued by the STEM establishment. How many scientific breakthroughs will be forgone by such signals is incalculable.

It is a sad and dangerous policy for all of us frail mortals. A “doctor” well trained in the recognition of unconscious racism but not necessarily in biochemistry and pathology cannot be relied on to make an accurate diagnosis. As the author says, “The proponents of the systemic racism hypotheses are making a large bet with potentially lethal consequences.”

[The doctrine] that health disparities are necessarily the product of systemic racism has devalued basic science and encumbered medical research with red tape. The fight against cancer has been particularly affected. White and Asian oncologists are assumed to be part of the problem of black cancer mortality, not its solution, absent corrective measures. According to the NIH, leadership of cancer labs should match national or local demographics, whichever has a higher percentage of minorities.

As in all ideologies, logic is dispensed with, and the dogma does not stand up to critical scrutiny:

The AMA’s Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity sneers at “discredited and racist ideas about biological differences between racial groups”. If race does not exist, as received wisdom now has it, then the racial makeup of clinical trials should not matter.

But it matters more than anything else to the Embedders of Racial Justice and the Advancers of Health Equity.

In May 2022, a physician-scientist lost her NIH funding for a drug trial because the trial population did not contain enough blacks. The drug under review was for a type of cancer that blacks rarely get. There were almost no black patients with that disease to enroll in the trial, therefore. Better, however, to foreclose development of a therapy that might help predominantly white cancer patients than to conduct a drug trial without black participants.

In another case, in which applicants competed for a grant –

… the runner-up possessed a research and leadership record that far surpassed that of the winning candidate. But he lacked the favored demographic characteristics.

Much talent is being lost to medical science because of “anti-racist” bigotry.

[T]he diversity push is discouraging some scientists from competing at all. When the chairmanship of UCLA’s Department of Medicine opened up, some qualified faculty members did not even put their names forward because they did not think that they would be considered …

The HHMI program and others like it amplify the message that doing basic science, if you are white or Asian, is not particularly valued by the STEM establishment. How many scientific breakthroughs will be forgone by such signals is incalculable.

***

Footnote:

*Heather Mac Donald provides these figures and facts about medical school admissions:

In 2021, the average score for white applicants on the Medical College Admission Test [MCAT] was in the 71st percentile, meaning that it was equal to or better than 71 percent of all average scores. The average score for black applicants was in the 35th percentile—a full standard deviation below the average white score. The MCATs have already been redesigned to try to reduce this gap; a quarter of the questions now focus on social issues and psychology.

Yet the gap persists. So medical schools use wildly different standards for admitting black and white applicants. From 2013 to 2016, only 8 percent of white college seniors with below-average undergraduate GPAs [grade point averages] and below-average MCAT scores were offered a seat in medical school; less than 6 percent of Asian college seniors with those qualifications were offered a seat … Medical schools regarded those below-average scores as all but disqualifying—except when presented by blacks and Hispanics. Over 56 percent of black college seniors with below-average undergraduate GPAs and below-average MCATs and 31 percent of Hispanic students with those scores were admitted, making a black student in that range more than seven times as likely as a similarly situated white college senior to be admitted to medical school and more than nine times as likely to be admitted as a similarly situated Asian senior.

Such disparate rates of admission hold in every combination and range of GPA and MCAT scores. Contrary to the AMA’s Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity, blacks are not being “excluded” from medical training; they are being catapulted ahead of their less valued white and Asian peers.

Posted under corruption, Demography, Health, Leftism, Race, Science by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, September 20, 2022

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