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Black California doctor torches mandatory implicit bias training: 'Appalled'
February 23 2023, 08:00

Marilyn Singleton, a visiting fellow from the medical organization Do No Harm, penned an opinion piece for the Washington Post attacking recent focus on "implicit bias training" in her field.

She explained Wednesday "I’m a Black physician, and I’m appalled by mandated implicit bias training" as she has been required by the state of California to take part in racialized "education" that she had not seen since graduating in 1973.

"That racial obsession has come rushing back — in academia, politics, business and even in my beloved medical profession. But now it’s coming from the opposite direction. The malignant false assumption that Black people are inherently inferior intellectually has been traded in for the malignant false assumption that White people are inherently racist," Singleton wrote. 

Various states, including California, have recently enacted an "implicit bias" training course within the medical field. Singleton explained that the law in her state took effect last year and requires at least 50 hours of "continuing medical education" every two years in order to be granted medical license renewal. Although the deadline to complete these hours for Singleton is the end of 2023, she revealed that she has yet to take part in any training.


"My answer is simple. I reject the unscientific accusation that people are defined by their race, not by their individual beliefs and choices. It is little consolation that studies are finding implicit bias training has no effect on its intended targets, and might even make matters worse," Singleton argued. 

She specifically attacked the training’s insistence that Black physicians such as herself should always be wary of her White colleagues by suggesting that "bias is always going to be there, beneath the surface, threatening to rear its ugly, racist head."

"The message to physicians is bad enough, but the message to patients is much worse," Singleton continued. "Black people are, in effect, being told that White physicians are likely to quite literally damage our health. If that’s the case, why on earth would you seek medical care, unless you could be absolutely certain of not being treated by a White physician? And if you do seek medical care, why wouldn’t you doubt every word from a White doctor who is inherently prejudiced against you?" 


"The whole point of implicit bias training is to create better health outcomes for Black patients and others who might be the target of discrimination, but the opposite seems more likely," she said in closing. "It fosters a climate of distrust and resentment that threatens to undermine the medical and moral progress I’ve seen over the decades. When I graduated from medical school, we were moving past the era of racial obsession and anger. Why are we going back to the days when race defined so many lives and dimmed so many futures?"

Medical practitioners in various states have called out "implicit bias" training and have even lost their jobs over their refusal to take part in the courses.


"If Maryland is truly concerned about empowering physicians to provide the highest standards of care to patients of all colors and backgrounds, it should foster training on cultural differences and bridging divides based on language, heritage, and worldview. Instead, Maryland is baselessly insulting physicians and nurses, while putting politicized ideas ahead of medical excellence," Dr. John Stinson wrote for Fox News. "Accusing physicians of bias and racism helps no one, but it will harm many."