Med school revamps ‘anti-racism curriculum’ to teach students about ‘intersectional identities’

Daily Caller News Foundation

The University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix (UACOM) will revise its Educational Program Objective (EPO) policy this summer as part of its “anti-racism curriculum,” medical watchdog group Do No Harm reported.

The medical school will expand an objective found in the policy’s Medical Knowledge section to teach students about “intersectional identities” in addition to diversity demographics, Do No Harm reported. The UACOM Curriculum Committee approved the change and it will be implemented July 1.

In the program, students learn to “recognize patient-focused care that considers a patient’s diversity” including their “race, sex, ethnicity, culture, ability, disability, socioeconomic status, talents, language, religion, spiritual practices, sexual orientation, gender identity, biological differences, geographic region, age, country of origin and life experiences,” the website reads. The new objective, however, will expand this definition to include a patient’s “intersectional identities,” according to a document obtained by Do No Harm.

“It takes away from the limited time that the college of medicine has to educate the medical students and residents in actual practice of medicine,” Do No Harm Program Manager Laura Morgan told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The college is wasting time on theories from radical activists instead of focusing on the science, so that’s really problematic for the future patients these doctors will encounter.”

The new objective reads that students will learn to “recognize patient-focused care that considers a patient’s diversity/intersectional identities* and social determinants of health such as structural racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, transphobia, etc,” Do No Harm reported. The school defines intersectionality as “the ongoing examination of the overlapping systems of oppression and discrimination that communities face based on race, gender, ethnicity, ability, etc.”

“It is our role to continuously examine the multiple forms and kinds of intersectional exclusions,” the new objective reportedly reads. “The call for an anti-racist health care system – one which recognizes and addresses the intersectionality of systems of oppression – amplifies every day.”

Do No Harm is “hoping to illuminate the problem” to UACOM officials so they can consider “taking action,” Morgan told the DCNF. They also want to inform the public about the changes inside the medical school since “University of Arizona is taxpayer sponsored.”

“The people of Arizona who pay taxes and help support this school need to be aware that this is happening in their local medical school,” she said.

The school’s educational policies “are linked to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies” and are used to establish “every block, course and clerkship,” its website reads. Graduates understand basic medical sciences, can apply that knowledge to patient care and can use “investigatory and critical thinking approaches,” the Medical Knowledge section reads.

“The [UACOM] and all medical schools really need to place their focus on what’s truly important in medical education rather than spending so much time on identity policies and things that don’t help them to teach their students on how to take care of people who are sick and injured,” Morgan concluded.

UACOM did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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