UM's Medical School Class of 2026 held its "White Coat Ceremony" in August. The pledge recited by the students included references to anti-racism, climate advocacy, and collaboration with political and social systems:
"We commit to uprooting the legacy and perpetuation of structural violence deeply embedded within the healthcare system. We recognize inequities built by past and present traumas rooted in white supremacy, colonialism, the gender binary, ableism, and all forms of oppression.
"As we enter this profession with opportunity for growth, we commit to promoting a culture of anti-racism, listening, and amplifying voices for positive change. We pledge to honor all Indigenous ways of healing that have been historically marginalized by Western medicine.
"Knowing that health is intimately connected to our environment, we commit to healing our planet and communities." (Excerpt from handout distributed at the ceremony)
That portion of the pledge was preceded by an acknowledgement that the University of Minnesota is located on the traditional, ancestral, and contemporary lands of Native Americans, including the Ojibwe, Dakota, and Northern Cheyenne. Regardless, Dr. Jeff Barrows, senior VP of bioethics and public policy for Christian Medical & Dental Associations, tells AFN he was alarmed that the students had to pledge to honor all Indigenous ways of healing.
"What does that mean?" he asks. "Does that mean that they're going to take medicine back a thousand years here in the United States with these Indigenous groups and what they were doing?"
Barrows also warns that, more than likely, other medical schools will implement this oath or ones that are similar.
"I'm certain that the University of Minnesota will not be the only school to adopt this," he laments. "I'm sure there'll be others in certain progressive parts of the country that will adopt this. But I think that overall, there will be people who will see the danger of taking on this wokeism."
Barrows' allegation of "wokeism" is well-founded. According to the UM Medical School's Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, its mission "will only be achieved through embracing and nurturing an environment of diversity, inclusiveness, equal opportunity, and respect for the similarities and differences in our community."
UM isn't the only medical school infected by progressivism. AFN reported in July that a sizable number of incoming medical students at the University of Michigan exited their white coat ceremony in protest over the featured speaker: a professor of medicine at the school who is "a committed Christian and avowedly pro-life" activist.