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White people now afraid to go to the doctor after Ben Shapiro frets about DEI in medicine

Shapiro cited a couple grad students and one surgeon out of the millions of healthcare professionals.

 

Tricia Crimmins

Tech

Posted on Feb 27, 2024   Updated on Feb 27, 2024, 1:49 pm CST

Conservative panic around diversity, equity, and inclusion policies have targeted schoolsthe corporate world, and even the airline industry.

Now, they’ve moved on to the medical field.

An X thread about DEI from conservative commentator Ben Shapiro yesterday convinced some right-wingers that progressive hiring policies at hospitals could cost them their lives.

Some are even going so far as to say they want to avoid doctors entirely.

“If you are white, you should be more scared of going to a doctor than whatever is ailing you,” responded a user to Shapiro.

“DEI in medicine means that even if doctors injure patients, they might still be protected (even promoted),” Shapiro tweeted. “It means that top hospitals are abandoning key metrics when hiring surgeons. And it means research by whites may be disregarded.”

In a dozen following tweets, Shapiro took aim at a couple grad students and one doctor: Kychelle Del Rosario, Ewen Liu, and Vignesh Raman.

Rosario was a medical student at the Wake Forest University of Medicine in 2022 when she tweeted that she stuck a patient with a needle more times than necessary after they mocked her pronoun pin. Liu was a classmate of Rosario’s at the time who responded to her tweet defending her actions, and Raman is a surgeon at Duke University’s School of Medicine who publishes research on social disparities in patient care.

Shapiro tweeted that Rosario is set to graduate from Wake Forest, Liu was hired by UPenn, and Raman prides himself on treating non-white patients.

He also included a soundbite from Raman about his goals to recruit more non-white and/or non-male medical professionals and a screenshot of a tweet from Raman about not “amplifying” medical research from “white men who only collaborate with other white men.”

“It’s bad enough when teachers or government bureaucrats talk like this,” Shapiro tweeted. “But valuing intersectionality over merit can literally mean life or death in surgery.”

While Shapiro points to these few specifics, there are more than a million doctors in the U.S.

Shapiro also cites a 2016 Johns Hopkins study that found that “medical mistakes” are the “third leading cause of death,” and concludes that the doctors he cited—and their associates—might hire based on race rather than competency and choose to evaluate white patients differently.

“The only thing physicians should care about is competence,” he tweeted. “Anything else will get people killed.”

May conservatives reacted to Shapiro’s thread with horror, calling DEI policies “white genocide” and “the woke mind virus” res

“DEI is evil,” an X user replied. “And so are its promoters.”

“Just when the West had equal opportunities for everyone, racism found its way back,” another tweeted, implying that DEI is racist against white people. “In a different form.”

While white people are now freaking out, the kernel of concern is minor compared to incidents of discrimination non-white patients have faced nearly a century.

Racial and socioeconomic prejudice in the medical field has resulted in lower quality care for non-white patients since the Jim Crow era. Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities were all hit harder by COVID-19 than their white counterparts and faced higher rates of hospitalization and death at the hands of the virus.

A 2023 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that DEI policies have the power to “improve health care outcomes for all,” regardless of race.

Shapiro’s attack on DEI in the medical field comes after many prominent conservatives posited that inclusion policies at major airlines could lead to non-white, unqualified pilots flying planes and possibly killing passengers.

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*First Published: Feb 27, 2024, 1:13 pm CST