Scott Sturman, M.D.
This week the following unsolicited message was sent from UCSF Medical School’s Office of Diversity and Outreach to the addressees seen below. The name of the author has been redacted. The highly charged, controversial nature of the document generated by a faculty member of a public institution supported by the taxpayers clearly demonstrates the politicization of academic medicine. The plea for social justice with all the trappings of wealth redistribution, equality of outcome, and proscription to levy any value judgment along with the author's call for disruptive demonstrations makes even the most indifferent observer raise an eyebrow. However, it is the salutation "In Solidarity," the old Marxist-Leninist call to arms, that reaffirms the notion that the Left is deeply imbedded in more that just political science and sociology departments.
Rather than lecture the medical community on the benefits of group think, civil disobedience, and socialized medicine, the author should spend more time in the operating room or on the ward teaching medicine, unless, of course, this was never his forte. And in that case, there must be plenty of openings on the faculty at a medical school in Havana or Caracas.
December 10, 2014
UCSF Student Learners, Faculty, Staff, and Community Members,
The recent events in Ferguson and New York City have brought national attention to long-felt issues surrounding systemic inequalities that disproportionally impact underrepresented minorities, particularly Black men. We extend our condolences to the families of Michael Brown, Eric Gardner, and those touched by these incidents. Our nation has witnessed a response, which has brought together communities of color and allies, many who have engaged in peaceful protests and non-violent demonstrations. Inherent in the tenants of our values, UCSF and the Office of Diversity and Outreach (ODO) know that “Black Lives Matter”. As a public institution, we work tirelessly to address health disparities and promote social justice in our work as learners, educators, clinicians, and researchers.
On behalf of the UCSF leadership, I want to acknowledge how proud we are of our UCSF Community for living these values, and we want to commend our student leaders who have organized and engaged in peaceful demonstrations that acknowledge the relation of racism and violence to health, as awareness is the first step towards change. The Chancellor’s Executive Leadership Committee, The Office of Diversity and Outreach, the Multicultural Resource Center, and countless campus partners are working together to implement effective strategies to address unconscious bias, increase cultural competencies, and engage in socially just practices. The wisdom of Dr. King reminds us that as human beings, our freedom is inextricably bound together. All lives matter, and our UCSF community stands united in this journey.