Physicians? Y'all better heal your ownselves

(AP Photo/ABC, Donna Svennevik)

Stumbled across a serious – meant literally and figuratively – piece of racist dogma claptrap today. I’ve tried to read it four times, and my eyes glaze over, but WHERE it was published keeps me at it. Seriously – The New England Journal of Medicine.


As academic medicine begins to recognize and examine racism as the root cause of racially disparate health outcomes, we need curricula for training physicians to dismantle the systems that perpetuate these inequities. Since traditional approaches to medical education are themselves founded in inequitable systems, new approaches are essential. Racial affinity group caucuses (RAGCs) are one such approach.1 RAGCs are facilitated sessions involving participants grouped according to self-identified racial or ethnic identity to support integration of antiracism curricula into clinical practice. Used as part of a broader antiracism and antioppression curriculum, racial affinity group caucusing engages participants in critical introspection through the lens of their own racialized experience and enhances learning by building community and encouraging praxis, the integration of theory, self-reflection, and action.2,3 Such caucusing, which some Indigenous scholars believe derives from an Algonquin term meaning a group gathering for wise counsel, involves a thoughtful and purposeful approach to dialogue.

Founded on legacies of colonialism and racism, medical education has historically centered White learners and continues to perpetuate structural racism.4 Pedagogical approaches often center White learners and ignore the differential impact of content on BIPOC learners (Black, Indigenous, or people of color) with personal experiences of racism that are nuanced and have been informed by interactions and observations over their lifetimes. Immersion in the existing medical education system can therefore be retraumatizing, resulting in imposter syndrome, heightened anxiety, and a reduced sense of belonging. Especially as we seek to recruit more medical students who are BIPOC, we need to recognize this harm and encourage pedagogical approaches that support the needs of BIPOC learners.



What a load of hogwash. I want my doctor – be they red, white, orange, green, black or purple – to be the best MEDICAL student possible before someone gives them a scalpel or prescription pad. I don’t really give a rat’s behind if they’ve found cultural nirvana along the way – that is immaterial to the point of being in MEDICAL SCHOOL. It’s hard for a reason and it’s hard no matter what the color of your skin is, or how you grew up, or whether your father beat your mother or if you had a father at all.

Can we stop this BS, please?

What this social worker and the doctors who co-authored the study are advocating is segregating medical school. You white racist beneficiaries of the Antebellum system in this corner, and the rest of the oppressed masses over here, please. We have a kinder, gentler experience planned for you that will also bolster your sense of oppression and victimhood while technically liberating you from it. We will, of course, require the white devils to take courses atoning for the sins of both their ancestors and whoever designed this course originally, as well as Hippocrates for writing an oath no one pays attention to in a language of dead white people no one learns to read anyway.

Audience: But what about MEDICAL SCHOOL?

Study: Look at all the fragile white racists!


…RAGCs for Black learners provide a setting that centers Black experiences as the norm and celebrates diverse Black perspectives. This environment buffers participants from (often daily) experiences of micro- and macroaggressions, structural inequities, and isolating siloes in predominantly White institutions. RAGCs also allow Black learners to explore their experience of racism and contextualize their understanding of antiracism without the burden of educating or taking care of non-Black colleagues, and without facing the otherwise-common denial, gaslighting (undermining another person by causing them to doubt their own perceptions and experience), and White fragility. RAGCs are conducive to in-depth exploration of internalized racism, and they allow for individual and collective expression of everything from joy to rage without fear of repercussion.

White trainees benefit from facilitated discussions in which they consider and are challenged by frameworks for dismantling centuries of socialized misconceptions about race and racism. RAGCs for White learners differ from other White-dominated spaces in allowing participants to be held accountable without burdening or retraumatizing BIPOC colleagues who are affected by racism. In RAGCs, White participants can learn to be thoughtful allies who are less dominating in integrated spaces, to elevate the voices and leadership of BIPOC colleagues, and to iteratively reevaluate their own internalized racism and sense of superiority that can obstruct antiracist commitment and action.


The verbiage throughout is so cut and dried in the wool racism.

Black and BIPOC students are “celebrated” for their “diverse perspectives” and “buffered” from the micro-aggressions and oppressions of daily life. They are allowed to wallow immerse themselves in expression without trying to help other, lesser prepared (“non-black” – WTF is that?) colleagues or deal with the anguish of being face-to-face with “White fragility.” And on it goes…

Got that, white medical students? In your own white spaces, you are going to be challenged, “learn to be thoughtful…and less dominant” – in other words shut your mouth. You’ve got nothing to say we want to hear. If you ever thought you were a leader, you aren’t one now because you’re a racist and terribly fragile.

Perhaps more emphasis on education prior to reaching medical would be the answer instead of holding hands in racially segregated circles and singing something from the Lion King while not addressing the actual deficiencies. Maybe demanding more of students earlier regardless of their race, ethnicity or circumstances is the answer, instead of the “every child gets a trophy/advanced to the next grade” when we have little but functional illiterates in college now.


Parents shoulder a good deal of this blame, regardless of socio-economic background. Parents CAN insist on an education for their child. They can sit them on the couch to read or do homework instead of ignoring them, shoving them out the door, sticking a game in their hands, or plopping them in front of a TV.

Parenting is hard, but hello. That’s what you are.

I saw a great little video today about the education of a guy whose grandfather didn’t have much but made sure his grandson got an education.

Yeah. He’s the same guy the social workers and doctors who wrote the crap are without a doubt sneering at while sending Venmos to The New Republic [fixed! Beege] to ruin with their little SCOTUS witchhunt.

Same guy.


This ugly fugly separate but equal is pervasive now. Why are people accepting it?

It’s not acceptable.

And I don’t want the doctor treating me – whatever their skin hue – to be the one who passed the class because they won the “Feels Most Empowered” trophy.

Yeah. Hard no.

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