The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) competencies that provides information that should be known by students and faculty when discussing intersectionality, white privilege, and racism.
The report was released in July and lies out a number of “competencies” across three levels of learning: diversity, equity, and inclusion.
There are barometers for students, as well. The three levels are: Entering residency or “new to DEI journey,” entering practice or “advancing along DEI journey,” and faculty physician or “continuing DEI journey.”
The competencies include:
“Demonstrates knowledge of the intersectionality of a patient’s multiple identities and how each identity may result in varied and multiple forms of oppression or privilege related to clinical decisions and practice.”
“Articulates how one’s own identities, power, and privileges (e.g., professional hierarchy, culture, class, gender) influence interactions with patients, families, communities, and members of the health care team.”
“Teaches how systems of power, privilege, and oppression inform policies and practices and how to engage with systems to disrupt oppressive practices.”
“Describes past and current examples of racism and oppression (internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and structural) and their impact on trust, health, and health care.”
“Demonstrates moral courage, self-advocacy, and allyship when facing and/or witnessing injustice (e.g., microaggression, discrimination, racism)”
The National Association of Scholars (NAS) say that the AAMC’s DEI competencies will “will hamper free expression, politicize medical education, encourage physicians to engage in misbegotten activism, and in the longer run, lead to substantively harmful policies.”
“We should hope that students and faculty alike should speak up and reject them,” the NAS said.
Research Associate John Sailer said that the DEI competencies “connote substantive political positions; to declare that faculty and students must embrace them clearly violates academic freedom.”
“At medical schools that adopt the competencies, it will undoubtedly become harder for students and faculty to voice support for a meritocracy or skepticism toward ‘gender-affirming care’ for minors. Such views, after all, are commonly labeled ‘oppressive,'” wrote Sailer.
President and CEO of the AAMC David Shorten, as well as Henri Ford, the AAMC Council of Deans chair, publicly defended the report, saying: A physician’s learning is never finished. We hope that formally integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion competencies in medical education across the continuum of learning will help create environments in which physicians, patients, and their communities can thrive. “An intricate web of social, behavioral, economic, and environmental factors, including access to quality education and housing, have greater influence on patients’ health than physicians do, even when we can offer the most groundbreaking scientific offerings,” they wrote.