The American Medical Association, the nation’s largest and most prestigious organization representing physicians and medical students, has announced it is ending its longstanding meritocracy-based ethos with a new professional climate reflective of “racial justice” and “health equity.”
The organization released an 86-page stratagem on Tuesday providing details of a three-year plan to try and influence the medical industry to dismantle so-called “structural and institutional racism” while also moving to advance “social and racial justice” throughout the American healthcare system.
The plan calls for the AMA to adopt several strategies that include the implementation of “racial and social justice” throughout the organization’s culture, policies, systems, and practices as well as adding critical race theory to medical education. The plan also strives for “racial healing, reconciliation, and transformation” by the AMA regarding its own supposed “racially discriminatory” past.
In addition, the AMA’s plan calls for rejecting concepts of “equality” and “meritocracy,” both of which have historically been embraced by the organization as well as the medical and scientific communities.
“Equality as a process means providing the same amounts and types of resources across populations,” the association said. “Seeking to treat everyone the ‘same,’ ignores the historical legacy of disinvestment and deprivation through historical policy and practice of marginalizing and minoritizing communities.”
The AMA is not responsible for crafting rules and regulations for the country’s health system, but the organization has significant sway over teaching hospitals and medical schools where physicians and other health professionals are educated and trained.
Now, the AMA insists, those institutions must also reject meritocracy, which the group now claims is harmful in that it “ignores the inequitably distributed social, structural and political resources.”
“The commonly held narrative of meritocracy is the idea that people are successful purely because of their individual effort,” the AMA’s plan says. “Medical education has largely been based on such flawed meritocratic ideals, and it will take intentional focus and effort to recognize, review and revise this deeply flawed interpretation.”
In place of meritocracy and equality, the AMA recommends medical training institutions integrate controversial critical race theory into their curriculums even though it has been compared to Marxist political ideology for its portrayal of an alleged power struggle within the U.S. between race oppressors — generally white people — and the oppressed, generally meaning minorities.
According to CRT, all Western institutions were premised on racism and racist concepts, thus they remain so and must be replaced or reimagined.
“Expand medical school and physician education to include equity, anti-racism, structural competency, public health and social sciences, critical race theory and historical basis of disease,” says the plan, which is rife with CRT verbiage.
It’s not clear how much influence the document will have on medical schools and teaching institutions, but it’s likely at least some will adopt CRT curriculum.
In a statement, AMA President Gerald Harmon stated unequivocally that he is “fully committed to this cause” while calling on the medical community writ large to join with the AMA’s effort.
“We believe that by leveraging the power of our membership, our influence, and our reach we can help bring real and lasting change to medicine,” he said.
Critics of abandoning equality and especially merit-based systems say it will lead to an erosion of standards and outcomes, which could be particularly devastating in health care.
Notably, there is rising opposition to CRT and its concepts, including from Americans of color.
Earlier this week, a black mother by the name of Chantel Cooper lambasted Loudoun County, Va., school board members during a meeting over the district’s adoption of CRT curriculum in high school coursework.
“In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” she told board members. “Now I have a dream that we will implement love, not hate, or supporting another Jim Crow’s agenda.”
“CRT is not an ‘honest dialogue,’ it is a tactic that was used by Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan on slavery very many years ago to dumb down my ancestors so we could not think for ourselves,” she continued, adding: “CRT is racist, it is abusive, it discriminates against one’s color.”
“Let me educate you: an ‘honest dialogue’ does not oppress, An ‘honest dialogue’ does not implement hatred or injustice—it’s to communicate without deceiving people,” she said.
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