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Physicians propose med schools focus more on ‘oppression,’ ‘race’ than ‘medical expertise’

Recommendation comes from Canadian Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons

A Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons proposal to teach Canadian medical students more about “anti-racism” and “oppression” than “medical expertise” has doctors and academics alarmed.

This week, Do No Harm, a medical watchdog group, launched a petition for physicians to oppose the recommendation, saying it would “corrupt medicine” in Canada.

“The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons may force medical students to learn more about ‘anti-racism’ than actual medicine. Canadian health care is on the fast track to racial division and discrimination,” the organization stated Monday.

The proposal comes from an interim report by the college’s Anti-Racism Expert Working Group. The Royal College oversees medical school education programs in Canada.

Medical training should center around “values such as anti-oppression, anti-racism, and social justice, rather than medical expertise,” according to the report, shared in late November by a member of the working group.

The interim report recommends “de-centering medical expertise” and instead focusing medical school education on the values of “anti-racism,” “anti-oppression,” “social justice and equity,” “inclusive compassion,” and “decolonization.”

“This is not satire. These parasitic idea pathogens will destroy the world,” Concordia University Professor Gad Saad responded Thursday on X.

Saad, an evolutionary behavioral scientist and author in Montreal, said he learned about the report from a Canadian physician who was alarmed by the proposals.

The report makes recommendations regarding the Royal College’s CanMEDS, the framework for physician training in Canada; it is scheduled to be updated in 2025, according to Do No Harm.

In the report, the working group suggests CanMEDS currently focuses too much on “medical expertise over all other facets of medical care” and downplays “critical aspects of medical practice such as advocacy, collaboration and communication.”

“We are proposing a shift towards a model that centres values” such as “anti-racism and anti-oppression,” the report states.

The working group also wants medical students to be taught to recognize “history in terms of the power structures that have come into existence over centuries which shape everything we do daily eg. White supremacy, heteropatriarchy, capitalism,” according to the report.

Dr. Roy Eappen, a practicing endocrinologist in Montreal and senior fellow with Do No Harm, said the proposal is very concerning for the future of medicine in Canada.

“Patients expect competence from their physicians in diagnoses and treatment,” Eappen said in a statement. “They expect compassion and a thorough knowledge of their field and the emerging knowledge in their fields. The Royal College has a long tradition of excellence in teaching and upholding the profession. The new proposals seem to abrogate that tradition of excellence. We do not do our patients or our profession any favours by taking our eyes off the real goal of patient care and wellness.”

MORE: Doctors should practice ‘anti-racist documentation,’ paper argues

IMAGE: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada/Facebook

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About the Author
Micaiah Bilger is an assistant editor at The College Fix.