Dozens of incoming medical students at the University of Michigan walked out of the initiation ceremony on Sunday, following a failed attempt to pressure the school to cancel a pro-life doctor as the ceremony's keynote speaker.
The July 24 ceremony, during which students received their medical white coats and took the White Coat Pledge and the Hippocratic Oath, featured a speech by Dr. Kristin Collier, a professor and vocal critic of abortion.
"We have a great deal of work to do for healing to occur," the professor continued. "I hope that for today, for this time, we can focus on what matters most: coming together to support our newly accepted students and their families with the goal of welcoming them into one of the greatest vocations that exist on this earth."
Pro-abortion Students 'Scared'The selection of Collier as the keynote speaker for the White Coat Ceremony "triggered" pro-abortion students on UMich campus. They demanded the medical school find an alternative speaker, saying that the mere fact that Collier was given a platform to speak "scared" them.
"I'm already scared that I've chosen to attend school in a state where I may very well lose my right to a safe abortion, and the decision by UMMS to have Dr. Collier as a keynote speaker makes this even scarier," one student stated.
Medical School Resisted PressureUMich Medical School Dean Marschall Runge has rejected the demands, saying the university won't cancel a speaker simply because of her opinion.
"Our values speak about honoring the critical importance of diversity of personal thought and ideas, which is foundational to academic freedom and excellence," Runge wrote, noting that Collier was selected by the UMich chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, which is comprised of medical students, house officers, and faculty. The society chapter honors "exemplars of humanistic patient care and who serve as role models, mentors, and leaders in medicine."
"We would not revoke a speaker because they have different personal ideas than others," he added.