The Political Transformation of Medicine

Published April 24, 2022

Wall Street Journal

Regarding Stanley Goldfarb’s op-ed “Keep Politics Out of the Doctor’s Office” (April 19): In 2015, under the leadership of Darrell Kirch, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) introduced sweeping changes to the Medical College Admissions Test, or MCAT, as well as other admissions criteria used by medical schools across the country. As Dr. Kirch explained in 2011, “I am a man on a mission. I believe it is critical to our future to transform health care. I’m not talking about tweaking it. I’m not talking about some nuanced improvements here and there. I’m talking about true transformation.”

The transformation is underway. It is a subversive effort to change the personnel entering the medical field. The revised MCAT includes a new section that screens for adherence to progressive orthodoxies; for example, a practice question from a 2018 AAMC/Khan Academy offering asks whether the “lack of minorities such as African Americans or Latinos/Latinas among university faculty members” is due to symbolic racism, institutional racism, hidden racism or personal bias. The answer is supposed to be institutional racism.

The AAMC website provides insight into how the group is altering medical training. Its homepage features a doctrinaire guide to “gender-affirming care” for youth. The AAMC also recently introduced a new exam meant to complement the MCAT by testing softer skills such as “cultural competence.” An AAMC staff writer explains that it was designed with the goal of eliminating “group differences in mean scores for African American and Hispanic test-takers compared to White and Asian examinees.” Dr. Goldfarb notes that “medical schools and residencies are lowering admissions standards.” This is by design.

The AAMC forms half of the only government-approved accrediting entity for U.S. medical schools. It solely administers the MCAT and national standardized medical-school application. In understanding the woke capture of medicine, begin by scrutinizing the leaders of medical education.

Ms. Goldman, a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, writes the Side Effects newsletter.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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