Columbia 'health policy' student calls for Critical Race Theory in medical school curriculum

Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health ran the Health Policy Management graduate student's article on its website.

The student encourages the medical community to look outside of hospitals and laboratories to educate itself on 'how racism has informed medicine and how medicine has perpetuated racism.'

Columbia University Health Policy Management graduate student Nina Owen-Simon is calling for Critical Race Theory to be taught in medical school.

While acknowledging that Critical Race Theory is not directly relevant to medical students’ exhaustive pursuit of biomedical knowledge in her Mar. 11 article, Owen-Simon urges the medical field to "recognize its own racism and how it has created and continues to support racist systems and ideas.”

Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health ran the article on its website. 

Critical Race Theory scholars Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic define Critical Race Theory as a “leftist political theory” in their book Critical Race Theory: An Introduction which explains how the theoretical framework “questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.”

[RELATED: Critical Race Theory 101 with Angela Morabito]

Owen-Simon encourages the medical community to look outside of hospitals and laboratories to educate itself on “how racism has informed medicine and how medicine has perpetuated racism."

“Clearly, our focus on precision medicine and ever more high-tech procedures, has not been the solution," Owen-Simon writes.

The goal of incorporating Critical Race Theory in medical school is to create “a new breed of young physicians” who have “a nuanced understanding of intersectionality and the complex interplay of systemic injustice and health," Owen-Simon argues. 

[RELATED: Q+A: This professor is standing up against CRT. Here's his advice for students, parents.]

This call to "anti-racist" action comes as the Washington State Public Health Association declared racism a public health crisis, echoing Oregon's House Bill 4052 that deems racism a public health crisis as well. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has yet to sign the bill. 

A Cornell law professor who argued that New York State’s decision to prioritize lifesaving COVID-19 drugs for “non-white race or Hispanic/Latino” individuals was the “inevitable outcome of CRT, discrimination on the basis of race," Campus Reform reported earlier this year. 

Campus Reform reached out to Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Nina Owen-Simon for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow @PeterCordi on Twitter