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Medical Students Pressured to Go Woke- Interview

Increasingly, medical students are required to demonstrate allegiance to progressive ideology. A student at a medical school in Oklahoma discussed the pressure on students to follow a woke agenda. Health Care News agreed not to disclose the student’s name.

 Health Care News: Tell us why you came forward and why you don’t want us to disclose your name.

Medical student: Because I know how bad things have gotten in medical schools with the woke agenda and, if we are to save the future of health care in America, physicians and others trying to promote freedom in our health care system must recognize the importance of reaching medical students—who are the future of our health care.

As for my name, I’m not afraid to speak about my views, but having my name surface on the internet could hurt me as I apply for residencies.

Health Care News: There is an organization called the Benjamin Rush Institute (BRI) for medical students who want to learn more about free market practice models. Are chapters welcomed?

Medical Student: Medical schools in more liberal states won’t let students organize a chapter.

Here, we have a lot of students now involved with BRI and it’s harder for people to write us off because there are more and more of us, and it takes a willingness to be called radical by 90 percent of your classmates to find the 10 percent who will join you.

BRI recently sent emails to a group of medical students about an upcoming info session on direct primary care (DPC). A school administrator found out about it and emailed everyone in the group warning them BRI is a radical, right-wing, conservative group and urged students not to engage.

Health Care New: Let’s talk about the 90 percent of your fellow students who describe you as “radical.” Do you feel like you must watch what you say or do?

Medical student: They assume everyone is on board. The students in my lab, for example, who participated in protests over the trans surgery [funding ban] assumed everyone agreed with them and would participate.

 Health Care News: You’re in a conservative state, Oklahoma. How is it the medical students are mostly “woke?”

 Medical student: Many of them come from conservative families but are brainwashed in college. And now, indoctrination is starting earlier, in high school and middle school. I saw a change in the four years I was in college.

Health Care News: What is medical school teaching about the “trans” movement?

Medical Student: We have had to take an entire semester in clinical medicine on gender. We had to learn all the “genders” and “sexual orientations.” We had to learn about the pronouns, including simulated conversations with patients about their pronouns. They talk to us about “big medicine” and how under corporate medicine, or socialized medicine, we will likely have 15 minutes with a patient, but I must spend five of those minutes playing alphabet soup trying to learn about gender preferences.

We are taught to use “assigned at birth” when describing biological sex and some of the lectures use the term “chestfeeding” to describe “breastfeeding.” As for the treatments—puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormone treatments—we are taught they are harmless and reversible. This is what really worries me because our next generation of doctors will be treating patients with this kind of training.

Health Care News: If you challenge this thinking, could it impact your career?

Medical Student: A lot of people don’t realize it, but the higher profile residency programs have paid staff whose job it is to scrub social media platforms and [perform] Google searches to learn about what applicants have posted. They say it is to address “professional” concerns, but it is likely to identify the social justice warriors and to make sure they pick someone who won’t rock the boat. We are aware of what has happened to physicians who spoke out on the pandemic, with their licenses being threatened.

Health Care News: Starting in 2022, the Step 1 exam, which is taken at the end of the second year of medical school and used as criteria to select medical students into residency programs, became a pass-fail exam.  There is also a push to get more diversity in medical school admissions. What impact do you think those changes will have in attracting the best candidates to be our next doctors?

Medical Student: I imagine they are going to start doing away with the MCAT [Medical College Admission Test], which is troubling because it will lower the bar. Is the MCAT or Step 1 test an indication of how good of a physician you will be? No, but that information, like any standardized test, can be critical in showing discipline, commitment, and focus.

In terms of entering medical school, I applied a few years ago and most of my essays were diversity based. I felt like I was simply writing to what they wanted to hear. Some of it was vague, like how a list of diversity factors could define me.

Health Care New: What is the next step for your chapter of BRI?

Medical Student: The school allows our [BRI] chapter to exist as an approved student group, but I know of medical schools that have banned chapters. To be safe, we decided not to meet on campus, and we don’t want to take any medical school money. The group is not political, and we don’t lobby. All we want to do is use it to help students understand all the practice models out there and to think more critically about what they’re being taught in medical school.

AnneMarie Schieber
AnneMarie Schieber
AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform.

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