North Carolina Rep. Introduces Bill Banning Funding to Medical Schools With DEI Programs

North Carolina Rep. Introduces Bill Banning Funding to Medical Schools With DEI Programs
Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) speaks at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on March 19, 2024. (Courtesy of Office of Congressman Greg Murphy, M.D.)
Katabella Roberts

Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) introduced a bill on March 19 that would ban “race-based mandates” at medical schools across the country.

Known as the “Embracing anti-Discrimination, Unbiased Curricula, and Advancing Truth in Education (EDUCATE) Act,” the measure would block medical schools that provide diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs or that adopt certain policies and requirements relating to DEI, from receiving federal funds.

Specifically, the bill states that no graduate medical school at an institution of higher education will be eligible to receive government funding or any other form of financial assistance—including student loans—under any federal program if it forces students to adopt specific beliefs.

They include that a specific race, religion, or sex is inherently superior or inferior, or that, by virtue of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin, the individual is a member of “oppressed” or “oppressor” categories.

Such beliefs also include that “America is systemically, structurally, or institutionally racist, or that racism is weaved into the ‘ordinary business of society’, or that America is an oppressive nation,” among other things, according to the bill.

The EDUCATE Act also applies to accrediting agencies.

The bill does, however, still allow medical schools to provide instruction on “unique medical needs or conditions that may be related to an individual’s gender, race, or other characteristics” and to collect and maintain demographic data on students for informational purposes.

‘No Place for Discrimination’

“American medical schools are the best in the world and no place for discrimination,” said Mr. Murphy, M.D. “The EDUCATE Act compels medical schools and accrediting agencies to uphold colorblind admissions processes and prohibits the coercion of students who hold certain political opinions.”

“Diversity strengthens medicine, but not if it’s achieved through exclusionary practices. Medicine is about serving others and doing the best job possible in every circumstance. We cannot afford to sacrifice the excellence and quality of medical education at the hands of prejudice and divisive ideology,” Mr. Murphy, who’s also a practicing urologist, added.

The latest bill is backed by more than 30 Republican lawmakers, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Ronny Jackson (R-Texas).

Speaking to Spectrum News 1, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), who has also co-sponsored the bill, called on medical schools to “get back to training the future medical professionals, away from radical policies that despite their names, divide and exclude.”

The measure is also supported by medical professionals, including Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a nephrologist and the chairman of Do No Harm, which describes itself as a “national association of medical professionals combating the attack on our healthcare system from woke activists.”

“Allowing rebranded race-based discrimination to infiltrate medical education is dangerous for future doctors and patients alike,” said Dr. Stanley.

A nurse enters a hospital in Garden Grove, Calif., on Dec. 20. 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
A nurse enters a hospital in Garden Grove, Calif., on Dec. 20. 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

DEI Ideology Spreading at ‘Alarming Rate’

“I have witnessed firsthand the alarming rate at which DEI ideology has spread through medical schools across the country. If we fail to stop it, we risk a generation of physicians ill-equipped to meet the needs of their patients. Do No Harm applauds Congressman Murphy for taking this critical first step to end harmful DEI practices and make academic excellence the priority for medical schools once again,” he added.

However, opponents of the bill, including the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), argue the presence of diversity, equity, and inclusion in medical school curricula is “intended to train the next generation of physicians to respond most appropriately to the rapidly diversifying populations that they will serve.”

“Doing so increases the likelihood for better health care and healthy lives for all patients, including individuals who have been historically marginalized by the health care system,” the association said in a March 18 statement.

In 2021, 63.9 percent of practicing physicians identified as white, while 20.6 percent as Asian, 6.9 percent as Hispanic, and 5.7 percent as black or African American, according to AAMC.

The latest measure is similar to a separate bill recently signed into law in Alabama banning state agencies, local boards of education, and institutions of higher education in Alabama from sponsoring DEI programs or offices.

That bill was signed into law on March 20 by Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, and will go into effect on Oct. 1, 2024.