Medical school hosts ‘Anti-Racism Task Force’

The Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine advertised a meeting addressing ‘recommendations aimed at eliminating racism locally and more broadly.’

The School of Medicine also uses a curriculum, which helps ‘[a]pply a racial equity lens to decision-making, policy,' and 'standards of practice.’

The Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) School of Medicine recently advertised a meeting of its “Anti-Racism Task Force.” 

“The task force will present findings from the needs assessment survey as well as a series of recommendations aimed at eliminating racism locally and more broadly,” a tweet from the Washington University Cardiovascular Division reads. 

The task force’s recommendations are also aimed at “improving education and training, recruitment and retention, and community engagement through an anti-racism lens,” the tweet continues. 

The findings and recommendations do not appear on the School of Medicine’s website, but a dedicated page for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lists other initiatives. 

[RELATED: Med student allegedly receives award after supporting fellow-student’s anti-conservative rhetoric]

A definition of DEI cites the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which hosts a “Group on Diversity and Inclusion (GDI).” The group “supports the efforts of AAMC-member institutions and academic medicine to realize the benefits of diversity and inclusion in medicine and biomedical sciences,” according to its website. 

Shortly after the School of Medicine hosted its task force meeting, it invited “community members” to discuss its “Leadership Commitment to Anti-Racism Statement” adopted in 2021. 

There are current structures, practices, and policies within our own healthcare, research, and education systems and institution[s] that are directly in conflict with our ability to achieve health, educational, and social equity,” the statement reads. “It is our duty to identify and rectify these systemic inequities. We commit to a culture of trying because change is hard and conflicts will arise.”

The anti-racism statement commits to “[a] campuswide rollout of the Understanding Systemic Racism curriculum,” which was “slated to begin” in the fall 2021 semester, according to the school’s DEI page. 

The School of Medicine’s “diverse, multidisciplinary, interprofessional team” created the curriculum “with tracks tailored by roles (managerial/leadership, clinical faculty & staff, clinical trainees, research and basic sciences, and non-clinical staff).”

Outcomes of the curriculum include the ability to “[a]pply a racial equity lens to decision-making, policy,” and “standards of practice” and “address identified inequities at the institutional, departmental, division or team level and apply acquired knowledge to implement longitudinal change.” 

[RELATED: Physician calls out top med programs for prioritizing ‘wokeism’ over training ‘good doctors’]

Other medical schools have embraced DEI in their curricula and hired new positions to oversee these initiatives. Campus Reform shared report from the medical non-profit Do No Harm, which found that the University of California San Diego School of Medicine “had implemented a multitude of race-based programs across its institutes.” 

Do No Harm’s “findings included an Antiracism Journal Club, ‘health equity’ components in curriculum, an ‘antiracism lab,’ separate ‘Antidiscrimination’ and ‘Anti-Racism’ task forces, as well as DEI training for faculty,” according to Campus Reform

At Texas A&M University (TAMU), the Health Science Center (HSC) hired a DEI Director, a position earning an estimated $69,600 to $88,100. 

Campus Reform explained TAMU’s DEI infrastructure. “The resources page includes a link to TAMU’s Office for Diversity, which lists 16 employees,” the report reads. “There are two contacts for the College of Medicine’s DEI office, the positions of Interim Associate Dean and Program Coordinator I. The College of Medicine also has five faculty DEI contacts for its flagship campus in Bryan, Texas.” 

Campus Reform contacted the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.