According to Psychology Today, wokeism is defined as a system of thought and behavior characterized by intolerance, policing the speech of others and proving one’s own superiority by denouncing others.
In a September 2, 2022, article in the New York Post titled, “Top med school putting wokeism ahead of giving America good doctors,” Dr. Stanley Goldfarb and Laura Morgan shed light on recent efforts to allow wokeism to infiltrate the medical school admissions process.
In the article, the authors reviewed the application process for America’s top 50 medical schools, three-quarters of the institutions reviewed, including 80 percent of the top 10, ask applicants about their views on diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism and other politicized concepts with the goal of finding student’s who will best advance this divisive ideology. Ascertaining the student’s views on providing the best care to patients was not the goal.
The authors looked at the secondary essay questions each school asks applicants using a database compiled by Prospective Doctor. They remind us that while called secondary, these questions play a primary role in each institution’s selection process.
The article highlights Harvard Medical School considered to be the top-ranked institution. Harvard asks applicants to share their “significant challenges in access to education, unusual socioeconomic factors, identification with a minority culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.” Applicants were then asked to explain how such factors influenced their motivation to choose medicine as a career.
It seems to me that if medical school admission gatekeepers can admit or deny students based on their institution’s wokeism or ideological belief system, then questions pertaining to biblical principles should also be asked.
Of course, many biblical principles such as love, kindness, and compassion are basic precepts that parents hopefully instill in their children. They are more relevant to patient care than a prospective student’s identity politics.
In reality, the divisive dogma of wokeism does not advance a student’s knowledge of medicine, nor does it teach anyone how to deliver compassionate, responsible medical care.
But guess what promotes compassion? The Bible. It focuses on applying spiritual attributes such as love, patience, kindness and gentleness toward others, all of which are essential to being a good physician.
Nobody knew this more than Luke, a physician who wrote the Bible book with the same name. Luke emphasized the humanity of Jesus and how He related to those who suffer on Earth. It’s this same humanity that’s lacking with wokeism. And while grades and MCAT scores are traditionally heavily weighted in the admissions process, it appears that wokeism is making its way in for consideration. However, it’s the intangibles that make great physicians. I can’t imagine any patient leaving the hospital or clinic saying, “My physicians were so equitable with their patient care choices.” Forget about it.
The primary attributes patients want are medically knowledgeable physicians who care for them and treat them with kindness, regardless of their social, political, or sexual standing. The bedside manner is king and high on a patient’s list of what makes a good physician. Teaching students to take care of people with wokeism as a primary instrument in their medical bag will divide and alienate patients by giving favored status to some while treating others with disdain. It also promotes narrow-mindedness and places patients into micro-categories earmarking some for preferential treatment with others inevitably receiving substandard care, all at the whims of indoctrinated physicians.
This is wrong.
The second commandment in the Bible calls people to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you love your neighbor as yourself, then you don’t care about someone’s gender identity, skin color, religion or sexual orientation. You care about all people regardless of external or identity factors leaving room for compassionate, unbiased medical care.
If seeking applicants that line up with woke belief systems is the agenda, then it’s time to reverse course and ask questions such as, “Are you willing to show kindness, care, and compassion to all of your patients regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender choice or any other factor?”
Insisting on wokeness to select future physicians only serves to create a cult-like atmosphere where med students are nothing more than instruments of dysfunctional social change rather than impartial, benevolent caregivers.
For those medical schools that believe wokeism should be at the forefront of the selection process, please reconsider and seek students who have demonstrated humility, compassion, and integrity in their lives. Be determined to select students that love and respect all people, equipping them for the riggers and reality of a career in medicine.
The rest is academic.
Finally, to all future medical students desiring to avoid the trap of wokeism, the Bible book of Romans has a piece of advice, “Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Christopher Nyte is an otolaryngologist.
Image credit: Shutterstock.com