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Business News/ News / World/  A US Medical Association Is the Latest Battleground in Fight Over Diversity Programs
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A US Medical Association Is the Latest Battleground in Fight Over Diversity Programs

America’s largest association of dermatologists is considering scrapping its diversity and inclusion initiatives, threatening to end programs designed to improve representation in one of the least diverse specialties in medicine.

A US Medical Association Is the Latest Battleground in Fight Over Diversity ProgramsPremium
A US Medical Association Is the Latest Battleground in Fight Over Diversity Programs

(Bloomberg) -- America’s largest association of dermatologists is considering scrapping its diversity and inclusion initiatives, threatening to end programs designed to improve representation in one of the least diverse specialties in medicine.

A group of doctors raised a resolution to end the American Academy of Dermatology’s diversity, equity and inclusion programs. The proposal, to be debated at the organization’s upcoming annual meeting, cited unease around the politicization of DEI and raised antisemitism as a concern. The resolution did not specify ways that the dermatology association’s DEI program may have exacerbated antisemitism in its ranks.

The proposal comes amid a broader retreat on diversity initiatives across corporate America as conservative groups intensify their attacks on DEI. It appears to follow an anti-DEI playbook laid out by billionaire investor Bill Ackman, who has been fighting against DEI at Harvard University and other elite colleges following arguments over antisemitism on campus.

AAD’s diversity program offers mentorship to medical students from underrepresented backgrounds. The organization also has a partnership with Johnson & Johnson to more than double the number of dermatology residents from underrepresented backgrounds by 2027.

Dermatology is the second-least diverse specialty in medicine, according to a study published in 2020.

At least two other resolutions have been introduced in response, supporting the existing DEI program. One, introduced by Dina Strachan, a New York City board-certified dermatologist, proposes creating a task force on antisemitism, racism, anti-Arab bias and Islamophobia.

The anti-DEI proposal is “making a bad faith slanderous allegation without any examples" and has “no suggestions," Strachan said in an interview.

Johnson & Johnson didn’t respond to a request for comment.

--With assistance from Annie Massa.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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Published: 01 Mar 2024, 12:25 AM IST
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