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Physicians respond to WSJ op-ed on taking social justice out of medicine

The Wall Street Journal op-ed pages are still reeling from a Sept. 13 commentary from Stanley Goldfarb, MD, a professor and former associate dean at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Dr. Goldfarb made the case that medical schools have become too wrapped up in teaching social justice, and the WSJ editorial board wrote a commentary supporting his stance.

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WSJ published a roundup of responses from physicians who wrote in to oppose Dr. Goldfarb’s view, making the case that gun violence and climate change do in fact affect patient care from a public health perspective. Another physician took issue with Dr. Goldfarb’s identification of embedding social issues into medical education as a “new” phenomenon. Samantha Ahdoot, MD, chair of Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action, wrote that Dr. Goldfarb’s views are dismissive of science. “That a physician of Dr. Goldfarb’s stature would publicly express this extreme view is testament to the highly successful and unfortunate politicalization [sic] of a scientific matter that affects the life, health and welfare of every person,” she said.

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