AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and AAMC Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer David A. Acosta, MD, issued the following statement on the Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping:
“The AAMC is concerned and alarmed by the Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping issued on Sept. 22.
While the executive order contains some elements that are universally agreed upon and with which we agree, it also exhibits a misunderstanding of most diversity and inclusion training programs and therefore will only further divide an already fragmented nation.
The history of our country and academic medicine includes myriad examples of principles and actions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion of which we can all be proud. Unfortunately, both the country and the community of academic medicine have not always lived up to the ideal of equal opportunity, and our history includes painful examples of racism, sexism, prejudice, and conscious as well as unconscious biases based on race, gender, and other identities. This history and these biases have led to inequities in health care and other areas of life that are increasingly evident in our nation. The disparities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing protests related to police brutality have boldly demonstrated the damaging and dehumanizing effects that derive from not respecting and valuing our differences and lived experiences, and have amplified racial biases and exclusionary behaviors.
The central purpose of diversity and inclusion training is, in fact, to bring the country together, not to further divide it. Only through better understanding of our conscious and unconscious biases, learning about other cultures in our pluralistic society, reaffirming our commitment to being anti-racist, and challenging long-held beliefs – that we hold ourselves and that we hold about others – will we heal the divisions now shaking our nation to its core.
The AAMC, and the academic medical institutions that comprise our membership, are committed to being diverse, inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist organizations. We believe this training is needed now more than ever. The AAMC intends to continue our trajectory of pursuing and even increasing such training. We urge our member institutions and other affected organizations to do so as well.”
Learn more about how AAMC is responding
Frequently Asked Questions: Executive Actions Prohibiting Certain Types of Diversity Training