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Breast cancer surgeons must submit DEI statement for UC Davis job

But teaching and research statements are optional

Applicants for a job as a surgical oncologist must submit a “Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” to be considered at the University of California Davis.

“Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants,” the job listing for an “academic surgical oncologist/breast surgeon” states.

The job is with UC Davis’ surgery department in its health department.

University policy requires all faculty applicants to “submit a statement about their past, present, and future contributions to promoting equity, inclusion, and diversity in their professional careers.”

The university’s media relations team and the listed hiring contact did not respond to a request for comment sent in the past weeks about the position. The College Fix asked for a rubric for the position and what weight the DEI statement played, compared to surgical experience, in the hiring process.

However, while a DEI statement is mandatory, a “Statement of Teaching” and “Statement of Research” both are listed as optional under the job application instructions.

‘No evidence’ DEI improves healthcare, medical doctor says

A former associate dean at the University of Pennsylvania medical school criticized the requirement.

“The key to being a good surgical oncologist is having vast knowledge about how to treat cancer,” Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, chairman of Do No Harm, told The Fix via a media statement.

“That and a strong ethical sense should be the only requirements,” he said. “A surgical oncologist’s political ideas are irrelevant to his or her ability to treat patients.”

“There is no evidence that DEI adherence does anything to improve medical care,” he said. “There is a great deal of concern that adherence to DEI lead to divisiveness and mistrust on the part of patients.”

The requirement may also be illegal according to a former deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Education.

“It is already a mistake and likely First Amendment violation for UC Davis to have mandatory diversity statements for faculty and staff applicants,” Adam Kissel, senior fellow at the Cardinal Institute, told The Fix via email. “It’s even more of a mistake to hire a worse surgeon over a better one because of what’s in a diversity statement.”

“Patients are being harmed by scaring them into thinking that there is systemic racism in healthcare,” Kissel said. “This mistaken ideology leads some patients to avoid needed care. DEI in medicine probably costs many black lives.”

He said patients “should trust UC Davis less because of its use of diversity statements.”

“Patients should seek providers whose priority is to save lives rather than engage in social engineering,” Kissel said, a point shared by Dr. Goldfarb.

Other universities have adopted DEI requirements for cancer care.

For example, San Diego State University’s job listing in 2022 for a cancer biologist also required a DEI statement, as reported by City Journal.

Goldfarb told The Fix DEI can “lead to divisiveness and distress on the part of patients of their physicians, then medical care will suffer.”

“Also, if adherence to DEI means that less capable individuals are recruited, medical care will suffer.”

MORE: Eastern Washington U. janitor applicants must submit DEI statements

IMAGE: Sasint/Pixabay

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Brandy Perez is a student at the University of Alabama, where she is studying in Public Relations with a minor in Public Policy. Her involvement in politics stems from her experience growing up on the Texas-Mexico border, where she observed first hand the impact of public policy in her community. She has been a part of multiple political campaigns, and served in the 88th Texas Legislature.