FAIR News: Standing Against Medical School Discrimination
FAIR Investigates Discriminatory Medical School Program Admissions Policies
FAIR is currently investigating a troubling set of programs in medical schools which restrict eligibility based on skin color, race, and ethnicity.
FAIR recently became aware of visiting student programs at the University of Chicago and University of Colorado OBGYN Department which are only available to students who are members of an “underrepresented minority.” The requirements of these programs make clear that only certain groups and subgroups will be considered for the opportunity to participate in the program and receive a financial stipend; members of other groups need not apply.
Due to the striking similarities between these programs, FAIR conducted additional research and uncovered that these racially discriminatory visiting student programs are incredibly widespread. The American Association of Medical Colleges, which coordinates many of these visiting student programs, lists approximately 170 visiting student programs throughout the country that restrict eligibility on the basis of skin color and ethnicity.
This week, FAIR sent letters to the Universities of Chicago and Colorado, urging them to amend these programs to comply with federal civil rights laws by making clear that all students are eligible regardless of their skin color. In the coming weeks, FAIR will continue to investigate how these discriminatory programs have become so widespread, and to what extent federal funding is involved.
LIVE Film Screening and Q&A with Bari Weiss and Meg Smaker
Meg Smaker’s new documentary film Jihad Rehab tells the story of several former Guantanamo Bay detainees as they navigate their lives at the world’s first rehabilitation center for Islamist extremists. The documentary was by most measures a great initial success, attracting enough positive attention to make it into the storied Sundance film festival. Yet soon after it premiered, scathing criticism from activists, and the resignation of two Sundance staff members, led to lengthy apologies from Sundance’s CEO and Festival Director, as well as Jihad Rehab’s executive producer, Abigail Disney. Much of the initial criticism of the film centered on it being directed by a “white” non-Muslim woman.
Together, Smaker and FAIR in the Arts are standing up for free expression, and against the small group of activists trying to censor Jihad Rehab, while also showcasing the film to audiences who are eager to learn more about the important issues it touches on.
Our next promotional event will be on Wednesday, July 20th, in Los Angeles, where we will host a special screening of Jihad Rehab, followed by a Q&A discussion with Smaker and author, journalist, and FAIR Advisor Bari Weiss. We hope you can join us.
Join Our Chicago Pro-Human Classroom Workshop
K-12 Educators, please join us on Thursday, July 28th, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CT at the The Skyline Conference Room in Chicago, Illinois, for an in-person workshop focused on how to create a culture of fairness, understanding, and humanity in the classroom. You'll learn to assess and improve classroom climate with the pro-human teaching rubric, support student viewpoint diversity, and help students build connections and understanding across cultures.
The workshop will include methods practice and scenario planning with FAIR’s classroom support tools.
FAIR in Medicine Fellowship for Graduate Students in Healthcare
FAIR in Medicine, the official network of healthcare professionals advancing FAIR’s mission in medicine and science, is hosting a Fellowship for Graduate Students in Healthcare. This is an opportunity for medical students and graduate students in healthcare-related fields to learn about FAIR’s tools, strategies, and principles of peaceful change, and to spread FAIR’s message on campus or in healthcare settings.
Fellows will help promote FAIR’s message by participating in a FAIR project, which they will share through their networks at their school or workplace. Projects may include working on webinars, podcasts, writing, research, and planning virtual or in-person events.
Applications are open July 1st – August 31st.
Join the FAIR Book Club
Calling all FAIR book lovers! The FAIR Fellows in Education invite you to our new FAIR Book Club, where all FAIR-minded readers can explore books that challenge and deepen our understanding of what it means to be pro-human.
We will be kicking off the club with our first book—Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane—with a Zoom session on July 27th at 7 p.m. ET, followed by a second discussion at the same time on August 17th.
We hope you’ll join us as we dive into this powerful memoir about the author’s coming of age as a black youth under apartheid in South Africa.
Do You Have a Pro-Human Perspective to Share? Write for our Substack!
We want the FAIR Substack to be the go-to publication for diverse perspectives on culture and civil rights. Whether you’re a seasoned author or an amateur writer with a story that can contribute to our mission of promoting fairness, understanding, and humanity, we would love to receive your stories, opinions, investigations, reviews, interviews, and more!
Please send your piece to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a short personal introduction and a brief, one-paragraph summary.
Complete articles only (i.e., no “works in progress”).
No previously published submissions—this includes personal blogs as well as online or print publications.
We have no hard word count limits, but prefer submissions between 1,000 and 2,500 words.
We hope to hear from you!
FAIR in Medicine July Open House
Join FAIR in Medicine Tonight: Thursday, July 14th at 7:00 p.m. CT for our July Open House with special guest, FAIR Advisor Fred Luskin, PhD.
Dr. Luskin founded and currently serves as Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects, where he teaches classes on Positive Psychology, The Art and Science of Meditation, Forgiveness, Wellness, Flourishing and The Psychology of Storytelling to undergraduate and graduate students. He is the author of the best-selling books Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness and Forgive for Love: The Missing Ingredient for a Healthy and Happy Relationship.
FAIR Perspectives Episode 22: Sex, Gender, & Youth Transition with Dr. Erica Anderson
This week on FAIR Perspectives, we speak with Dr. Erica Anderson. Erica is a clinical psychologist and transgender woman best known for her work on sexual and gender identity for teens. She has over forty years of experience working at multiple healthcare facilities, and is now an advocate for safe and well-informed transitions of those experiencing gender dysphoria.
We discuss her background as a clinician and a transgender woman, the definitions of “sex” and “gender,” and how they relate, the difficulty discussing the topics of gender, sex, and transgenderism in our discourse and social media, gender stereotypes and gender essentialism, the difficulties and challenges regarding gender affirming care, peer influence regarding transgender youth, and how concerned people on all sides of these issues can approach these conversations more productively.
Tune in on YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts!
FAIR Perspectives Has a New YouTube Channel
We're excited to announce our show is moving to a new YouTube channel. Thank you to all of our listeners who have helped make FAIR Perspectives the success that it is, with enough content to need its own home. Keep following the show at our new channel, FAIR Perspectives.
Please subscribe there to make sure you don't miss our upcoming episodes. We're thrilled to have you as part of the FAIR community.
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I graduated from medical school in 2006 and entered residency afterwards, so I am well acquainted with how the visiting medical student rotations work. These are typically mandatory electives that students and programs use to effectively fill their residency slots. The student chooses which program to do their mandatory elective at based on which program they want to attend as a resident (where they actual gain the skills to practice whatever specialty - including primary care - they have chosen). The departments at these hospitals use these student rotations to try out the students to see if they want to rank them highly on the match should the students choose to rank the program. The Match is where residencies and students rank their favorite program and then the student is "matched" into the one place that they must accept. So, it is no small thing that many of these programs are limiting applications to certain groups. There is no other way to gain admission to a residency on the first round where the most desirable residency slots are filled. So, placement into these student volunteer programs is absolutely critical to career trajectory of medical students.
Limiting admission into these student electives to favorable groups is a blatant attempt to limit the admissions to the residency programs to certain groups which sounds like an end run around equal opportunity laws governing admissions to the residency programs (all of which are funded by medicare and so subject to federal law).
There is a large research university in my region that held an Emerging Scholars symposium last year for racial and ethnic minorities in my field of psychology. The programming described it as an invited conference on diversity, equity, and inclusion. As an Asian-American, I was excited to apply, particularly for the component of their cross-cultural competency workshop, as cross-cultural issues are a key part of my clinical practice.
Well, this excitement quickly dissipated when, upon a closer reading of the application, I realized it was open only to racial and ethnic groups that have been "historically underrepresented in the Academy," which they specified include "people who identify as Black/African-American, Native American/Alaska Native, Latinx and/or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander."
At first, I was confused. As an Asian-American, I had been under the impression that I belonged to the ethnic minority group demographically referred to as Asian-Americans and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI). Further, I had thought people who were AANHPI *were* a historically underrepresented group in academia, among other sectors of the workforce.
In trying to understand why people of my ethnicity weren’t invited to the event, I realized that at some point, Asian-Americans had–at least by the “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” movement, as it were–become disaggregated from Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders as an ethnic minority group. I gather that the reasoning for this was because while we were *historically* underrepresented in many segments of society, major demographic shifts in recent decades have meant that Asian-Americans are no longer underrepresented in these areas. Of course, justifiably or not, there have been strong arguments made in the admissions process for colleges, and more recently in public magnet high schools, that Asian-Americans students are *overrepresented* as a demographic.
In this way, a semantic argument could be made that the symposium invitation should have read that it was open to groups that “are” underrepresented in the Academy at present, as opposed to “historically” underrepresented. On one level then, as an East Asian-American, I can respect and understand why East Asian-Americans were not invited to this event, as we no longer have a problem of underrepresentation in most academic fields.
More importantly, however, I feel that this apportionment of AANHPI as an ethnic minority into represented Asian-American and underrepresented Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander groupings does a harmful disservice to the Asian-American ethnic groups who in fact remain significantly underrepresented within nearly every facet of higher education. By this, I’m referring in particular to South Asian and Southeast Asian ethnicities; not only is the limiting of networking and employment opportunities to South Asian and Southeast Asian-Americans especially unjust, it’s also plain factually incorrect not to include them as underrepresented ethnic groups.
Asian-Americans are not a homogenous group. In fact, it is the most economically diverse of all racial and ethnic groups, and among the most unequal in levels of educational, social benefits receipt, and other measures of socioeconomic status. Yet, in the ideology of DE&I, we increasingly are being treated as a monolith, and underrepresented ethnic minorities are unfairly being excluded from opportunities as a result.
Finally, a few stray observations regarding the university’s overall, institution-wide Emerging Scholars Program, at least in its current implementation:
For the psychology department’s symposium I initially tried to apply to, the workshop on cross-cultural competency was being facilitated by Dr. Anu Asnaani, a “nationally acclaimed trainer for culturally-competent clinical research and service provision.” Yet, as a South Asian-American academic, she would not have been able to participate in this symposium at all if she were earlier in her career.
The stated goal of one of their school’s Emerging Scholars symposium was to make education in their field more “diverse and inclusive.” I’m not sure if the irony that their policy to invite only certain racial and ethnic minority groups is, by its very nature, non-inclusive, occurred to them when they were deciding on their audience. Does it help to achieve greater racial and ethnic diversity in their academic field? One could argue so. But does it do so at the cost of making the field feel less welcoming and belonging for individuals of a certain racial and ethnic minority group (indeed, the most internally diverse along measures of most diverse internally along measures of socioeconomic status, health, education level, etc.)? This also appears so.
And like the erosion of Asian-Americans’ earned place in the most competitive universities and magnet schools, I find it deeply troubling that the actual actions of DE&I initiatives are at times so antithetical to the validly noble missions they purport.