Lawsuit Accuses Doctors Network Hiring Initiative Of Providing Unfair Advantages Solely To Black Applicants

Contrary to Goldfarb's claims is evidence that racially concordant doctors assist in obtaining positive outcomes for their patients.

Do No Harm, a radical right-wing group incorporated in 2022 to oppose diversity equity and inclusion initiatives it observes in the healthcare field, is on the attack again. Fox News reports that the organization is suing the physician-owned partnership Vituity because Vituity’s Bridge to Brilliance Program seeks to increase representation of Black doctors, which, according to CNN, currently sits at a paltry 5.7%.

Do No Harm’s founder, Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, is a professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school as well as a former dean of the medical school. In September 2022 he told the New York Post, “This focus on diversity means we’re going to take someone with a certain skin color because we think they’re OK, that they can do the work. But we’re not going to look for the best and the brightest. We’re going to look for people who are just OK to make sure we have the right mixture of ethnic groups in our medical schools.”

The group claims in its lawsuit that Vituity’s program violates federal law because it discriminates on the basis of race. Do No Harm, according to The Associated Press, pioneered the current wave of anti-trans legislation that is currently sweeping Republican-controlled states. In their analysis they found passages in many statehouse bills containing either identical or strikingly similar phrasing to the legislation Do No Harm got passed in Montana, Arkansas, and Iowa.

The medical community, including doctors from Goldfarb’s alma mater, roundly criticized his 2019 Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he argued, among other things, that race-based medicine is destroying the medical field.  

The lawsuit, filed in a U.S. District Court under the jurisdiction of the Northern District of Florida, argues for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction before eventually making the case that Vituity’s program should receive a permanent injunction stopping them from engaging in what the lawsuit characterizes as racially discriminatory eligibility criteria for its program. Naturally, the lawsuit uses the conclusion reached by the Supreme Court in its Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard case, which determined that using affirmative action in the college admissions process was a violation of the 14th Amendment.

In a statement provided to Yahoo, Goldfarb, the board chair of Do No Harm, claims to speak for Black patients, saying, “Black patients want the best doctors and the best medical care — not doctors that are racially concordant. Vituity’s Bridge to Brilliance Program, which offers physicians hiring opportunities and sign on bonuses on the basis of race, is abhorrent and rightfully illegal.”

Contrary to Goldfarb’s assertion is evidence that racially concordant doctors assist in obtaining positive outcomes. “Racial concordance” is the term used when a doctor and a patient’s ethnicities match. This establishes that Black doctors have an important role in obtaining positive outcomes for their Black patients. The Association of American Medical Colleges asserted in a June 2023 article that research proved that racial concordance led to improved communication, trust, and adherence to medical advice.

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