Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a physician who founded an organization that rebuts the left-wing push for anti-racist medicine, said the new practices incorporated into the field are going to exacerbate the current crisis in health disparities and that it includes discrimination.
“We have groups of patients whose health is much worse than other groups of patients … And so I think this represents a crisis. And the response … is just the wrong,” the doctor said.
A view that continues to prevail in the academic medical literature is that health disparities are primarily caused by systemic racism, meaning the health system is not treating specific communities adequately – causing some to suffer poorer outcomes.
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“No, the reason we have a crisis is because of personal behaviors, understanding of the risks of illnesses, and access to the health care system. This is the nature of the crisis … It will only get worse if we put all our resources into the wrong solution to the medical problem,” he said. Dr. Goldfab believes that expanding access as well as increasing health literacy in K-12 schools are keys to combating health disparities.
Dr. Goldfarb rebutted the notion that the medical field is systemically racist, saying, that for doctors “the impulse to do well for patients … – and every physician feels that.”
“We began [Do No Harm] in order to provide a voice for physicians, for patients [and] for any individuals in the health care world who are confronted with [things like] … institutions demanding that they take on anti-bias training, the creation of protocols that seemed to favor one group of patients over another simply based on their skin color, their race, [or] even … issues … where the government is trying to … bribe physicians into creating anti-racism protocols in their practices in order to increase their payment from Medicare.”
He went on to criticize the anti-racist approach and said it includes discrimination.
“The language of anti-racism is Ibram Kendi’s language. And he’s spoken to the idea that past discrimination … requires future discriminations in order to make some sort of equity achieved,” he said. “This undermines the whole idea of a trusting physician-patient relationship. And that’s what we’re trying to combat.”
He continued, “there are individuals who actually believe that these kinds of racist approaches are going to benefit patients. But in fact, they’re wrong. They’re really wrong. And they haven’t considered the … consequences of these kinds of ideas.”
Fox News reported Monday that the majority of America’s most prestigious medical schools are pushing ideas related to critical race theory (CRT).
“This sort of radicalization that we’ve seen occur in colleges has manifested itself now in medical schools,” Dr. Goldfarb said. “Many medical educators now get degrees from schools of education, which are hotbeds of basically – to call it by its real name – Marxist-sort-of-thinking about health care and about society in general.”
As a result of this new push, Dr. Goldfarb said that he is observing medical schools undergo “a decline in quality.”
However, not all see the novel focus in the medical field this way.
Joel Bervell, a popular TikTok star with nearly a half-million followers and a medical student at Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, said the new push to uncover how systemic racism affects patients is a positive development and will elevate the medical field for everyone. He says overall that there is a misunderstanding of what is happening in the medical field.
“The changes that are being made in medical school and the push that individuals like myself are making are not to take care away from people. It’s to make sure that everyone has access to care; that when we talk about communities that have often been ignored, that what we’re doing there is actually expanding access to everyone. If you can provide better care for people who have never had it before, that heightens the entire system,” he said.
“I think that’s why my lens as a medical student is so powerful. In medical school, you don’t focus on one specific field, you are learning everything. And when you start doing that, you realize that there are so many places in medicine that have been built on a history and a legacy of racism, literally the word racism, and that has perpetuated to today.”
“In my own classes in medical school, we never learned what things looked like on darker skin. And people started doing research on this to look at, you know, why is it that when you Google something like eczema, which is thought to be more common in people with African ancestry, why is it that you can’t find any images of what it looks like on Black skin? What does that do?” he said. “I’ve never used kind of critical theory as the way I describe it – but I call it just being inclusive of including conversations that will make us better doctors. Because doctors see everyone, not just one type of patient. We see people from all backgrounds.”
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report