‘Woke’ Pharmacists Add Diversity, Anti-Racism to Professional Oath

By Matthew Vadum
Matthew Vadum
Matthew Vadum
Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative journalist and a recognized expert in left-wing activism.
December 24, 2021 Updated: December 26, 2021

Pharmacists across the United States will soon have to embrace the left’s political and cultural agenda as a result of radical new ideologically motivated revisions to the wording of their professional oath.

Although Marxist-inspired critical race theory in public education has been meeting unprecedented resistance across the country in families with children in government-run schools, “woke” ideology has been consolidating its hold over academia, government, the corporate world, and the helping professions.

One manifestation of wokeness or political correctness is “health equity,” a variant of social justice ideology that has been defined as “the absence of unfair and avoidable or remediable differences in health among population groups defined socially, economically, demographically or geographically.”

The official Oath of a Pharmacist will require new pharmacists to commit to “diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism,” according to the board of directors of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and the board of trustees of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

The new language was approved by a joint AACP and APhA oath revision steering committee and approved by their boards at their respective meetings in November, and is expected to be ratified at an online meeting on Jan. 18, 2022. The newly revised oath will be used for all spring 2022 pharmacy school commencement ceremonies.

The new oath reads in part: “I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy. In fulfilling this vow: I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns. I will promote inclusion, embrace diversity, and advocate for justice to advance health equity.”

Lakesha M. Butler, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, spoke about the origins of the policy in a statement provided by AACP.

“The joint committee led a critical charge of boldly expanding our professional oath to include the necessary elements of equity, inclusion, and diversity,” Butler said in the statement. “The revised oath charges all pharmacists to take an active responsibility in promoting health equity and commit to being change agents in the system of pharmacy practice and beyond.”

Juan Rodriguez, APhA–ASP national president and student pharmacist at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy, praised the reworked oath. ASP is the APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists.

“The Oath of a Pharmacist is intended to be both a fluid and long-lasting representation of pharmacists and student pharmacists’ dedication toward our profession and patients,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

“Our collective efforts in recognizing and leading this change is a proud moment for the entire profession.”

John Sailer, a research associate at the National Association of Scholars (NAS), has written about the politicization of medical schools. NAS describes its mission as “uphold[ing] the standards of a liberal arts education that fosters intellectual freedom, searches for the truth, and promotes virtuous citizenship.”

The changed oath “is an especially stark example of a quickly accelerating trend—the blending of politics and medicine,” Sailer told The Epoch Times via email.

“Already, medical schools across the country are bending their curricula and practice to promote the ambiguous but politically charged notion of ‘health equity.’ It’s no surprise that the AACP and APhA have followed suit—though requiring a commitment to inclusion, diversity, and health equity in an oath is something of an innovation,” he said.

“Ultimately, the move subordinates science to the goal of social justice. Inevitably, this will further politicize medicine and science, and, in the long run, that hurts everyone.”

Matthew Vadum
Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative journalist and a recognized expert in left-wing activism.