by Alexa Schwerha
The University of Utah School of Medicine reportedly trained its faculty to acknowledge their own biases through diversity, equity and inclusion training modules, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the medical watchdog group Do No Harm.
Do No Harm obtained three training presentations which were used between 2021-2022 to train faculty members about how to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. The trainings instructed faculty to understand their own biases and lectured the school on using affirmative action practices to increase minority hires.
One training, titled “Understanding Bias in the Admissions Process,” claimed that the school’s admissions committee disadvantaged “African American” applicants by favoring white applicants. The presentation claimed that the committee exerts “implicit White Preference.”
“People with this bias unwittingly associate a white face with positive words or feelings and a black face with negative words or feelings – and they may act on those associations,” the presenter notes reportedly claimed.
We believe each and every patient deserves access to the best possible care, and that barriers to care should be broken down.
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— Do No Harm (@donoharm) July 13, 2022
Another presentation instructed search committee members to consider race and gender when reviewing a prospective hire and claimed that the school should “have a plan to increase the likelihood that it will get more qualified women and minorities in the applicant pool,” according to the training. The training was reportedly mandatory for all committee members before they could begin screening candidates.
A third training, titled “Understanding and Overcoming Unconscious Bias,” encouraged staff to take an implicit bias test led, which Do No Harm claims has been “widely discredited by the psychology community.” Implicit bias tests are used to examine how people initially respond to presented words or pictures to understand initial biases, according to the American Bar Association.
“The inference is that admissions committee members need re-education to overcome their bias,” Do No Harm wrote.
Do No Harm and the University of Utah School of Medicine did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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Alexa Schwerha is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “University of Utah Medical School” by UofUHealthCare. CC BY-SA 3.0.