(HorizonPost.com) – Canada’s Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons is proposing to teach medical students more about social justice than “medical expertise,” alarming some academics and doctors, the College Fix reported.
Last week, the medical watchdog group Do No Harm launched a petition for physicians who oppose the proposed recommendation, warning that it would “corrupt” Canadian medicine.
The group said in a statement that the Royal College’s proposed changes would require medical students “to learn more about ‘anti-racism’ than actual medicine,” and warned that the recommendations would place the Canadian healthcare system “on the fast track to racial division and discrimination.”
The Royal College proposal was prompted by an interim report from its Anti-Racism Expert Working Group.
The report proposes that medical training should be centered around “anti-oppression, anti-racism, and social justice” instead of simply “medical expertise.” The report recommends “de-centering medical expertise” to focus instead on social justice, equity, anti-racism, decolonization, anti-oppression, and something called “inclusive compassion.”
In its report, the working group offered recommendations for CanMEDS, the Royal College’s framework for training physicians in Canada.
The group claims that currently, CanMEDS focuses too much of its training on “medical expertise” rather than “all other facets of medical care” while downplaying “critical aspects” of practicing medicine, like “advocacy, collaboration, and communication.” The report recommends that CanMEDS shift toward a framework that is centered on “anti-racism and anti-oppression.”
The group wants students to be taught how to learn the history of “power structures” like white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and capitalism in their medical training.
Do No Harm senior fellow Dr. Roy Eappen, a Montreal endocrinologist, said in a statement that the new proposals appear to “abrogate” the Royal College’s tradition of excellence. He said physicians are not doing their patients or profession any favors “by taking our eyes off the real goal of patient care and wellness.”
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