Reports this week of a fourth-year medical student at Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s impending graduation drew questions not only about why she was being allowed to graduate, but also about how the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) movement is affecting medical school students and the patients for which they will ultimately care. 

In April 2022, Kychelle Del Rosario was placed on extended leave after she posted a tweet on Twitter that implied she “missed” the vein of a patient on purpose while doing a blood draw because they laughed about a pronoun pin that she was wearing that said “She/Her.”

“I had a patient that I was doing a blood draw on see my pronoun pin and loudly laugh to the staff, ‘She/Her?” Del Rosario’s tweet said. “Well of course it is! What other pronouns even are there? It?’ I missed his vein, so he had to get stuck twice.”

The school later put out a statement that Del Rosario was put on extended leave.

The James G. Martin Center of Academic Renewal tried to find out what happened to Del Rosario last August but were unsuccessful. They did, however, find published articles she co-authored that may have been in the works before her leave from Wake Forest. 

The Martin Center’s article also pointed out the diversity agenda that Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion had displayed on its website

The medical school is affiliated with Atrium Health. For reference, this is the same hospital system that wanted to block parents of children ages 12-17 from having access to their child’s prescription records on CarolinaCARE, a home-delivery pharmacy service available to Atrium Health employees and their family members enrolled in the Atrium Health LiveWELL and Blue Ridge Healthcare health plans. 

The hospital system soon reversed course on that policy after pushback from parents and others.

As for Del Rosario, according to a Feb. 26 post on X by Ben Shapiro, co-founder of Daily Wire and host of The Ben Shapiro Show, she is set to graduate from the medical school very soon.

Ben Shapiro’s X page.

Carolina Journal left a message with the medical school’s media relations department to confirm her graduation but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

 “The trend to replace merit with new identitarian standards is pernicious and dangerous, especially in hospitals and medical schools,” Jenna Robinson, president of the Martin Center, said in an emailed statement to Carolina Journal. “The Supreme Court’s decision in the Students for Fair Admissions Case is the first step to restoring excellence to medicine.”

Robinson also said the law already prohibits colleges and universities from giving grants or opportunities based on race.

Shapiro further revealed the University of Pennsylvania Hospital (Penn Medicine) had hired Del Rosario’s classmate Ewen Liu, who tweeted in support of Del Rosario that it “seemed ‘karma-tic’” when she injured the patient. Shapiro said Wake Forest gave Liu many awards for excellence, and now her main focus is on LGBTQ+ Health.

He said both the school and UPenn are playing a game in which Wake Forest didn’t list Liu’s hospital in graduation materials, and UPenn doesn’t list Liu’s medical school on its website.

The dangerous trend of DEI in medical schools is also making its way into the medical practice. 

“DEI in medicine means that even if doctors injure patients, they might still be protected (even promoted),” Shapiro said on X. “It means that top hospitals are abandoning key metrics when hiring surgeons. And it means research by whites may be disregarded.” 

So much for the Hippocratic Oath.

What Happened to “Do No Harm?”

Shapiro then pointed to Duke University Medical School’s surgical resident Vignesh Raman as a primary example. During a presentation, Raman made comments that Duke Hospital “serves a very southern population” and is “not a VIP hospital” where people fly in from all over to get treated. He also makes a dig toward those who are conservative by saying, “My heart sinks every time I go into a room, and I watch them watching Fox News or if they have a MAGA hat on or they’re wearing a confederate belt.” But he later says that the one good thing about the South is that a majority of the patients are “non-white.”

In another clip, Raman states that after the riots protesting the killing of George Floyd, Duke’s Medical School thought something should change since the university was “essentially founded on racism and slavery.” He noted they made systemic changes to the recruitment process, including not hiring so many “walls of white men.” 

 He says the team was now “abandoning … all sort[s] of metrics” and is also increasing the diversity of people who read the applications of those applying so they have a better chance of being hired.  

Raman also tweeted, “I would say even for academic publications….I don’t want to amplify the work of white men who only collaborate with other white men.” 

Shapiro’s posts may have hit a nerve, and Duke took down the videos, but not before Carolina Journal’s opinion editor David Larson and North Carolina Congressman Dan Bishop, R-NC, commented. Bishop is running for the Republican nomination for state attorney general.

NC Congressman Dan Bishop’s Republican candidate for NC attorney general X page.

Bishop also commented after the videos were taken down. 

“DEI in medicine puts innocent lives at risk,” Bishop posted. “When I’m AG, this blatant racial discrimination will not be tolerated. “

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) launched a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion toolkit for providers in December, but that same month Dr. Richard Bosshardt said in a National Review editorial that ACS has embraced DEI since 2020.

Bosshardt said perhaps the worst part is having surgeons and patients continuously referred to by their identity groups. The toolkit, he said, treats each patient group similarly.

“All blacks, for example, are victims of oppression and systemic racism, according to this thinking,” Bosshardt said. “The traditional tenets of Hippocratic medicine, which focus on the individual in front of the physician, have been, for all intents and purposes, abandoned. Any disparity in outcomes of care of minorities is proof of racial discrimination.”

Bosshardt stated that such a focus on anti-racism and DEI has already had an effect on surgical programs, which in turn could put patients at risk for serious consequences. 

“I have spoken to many of my surgical peers, and we agree that we are already seeing an erosion of quality in surgery, with many programs turning out surgeons who are not ready to practice independently,” he stated in the article. “I have spoken to surgical residents who report a sense that they are not getting the necessary hands-on clinical and surgical experience to feel confident while being simultaneously tasked with assimilating and regurgitating anti-racist and DEI ideology.”

While Wake Forest and Duke continue with DEI-influenced programs, another North Carolina medical school is bucking the trend. 

University of North Carolina’s (UNC) medical school did away with its DEI task force in June without implementing its recommendations, months after banning DEI statements from admissions, hiring, promotion, and tenure.