Health Care

David Randall, Ph.D. | November 4, 2021

Is Oklahoma medicine going woke?

David Randall, Ph.D.

Americans know the Woke Revolution threatens their liberty. But it also gives rise to some more immediate nightmares. Some of them have already come to pass (police afraid to do their jobs, cargo ports that don’t work). Some haven’t yet arrived. What if our bridges collapse because they were designed by a Woke highway engineer? What if the Woke doctor won’t treat us because he disagrees with our views?

It’s worth examining. We know that, nationwide, medicine is getting “major injections of Woke ideology.” As OCPA’s Ray Carter recently reported, the American Medical Association “has embraced Critical Race Theory—vowing to use ‘lenses of racial, gender, LGBTQ+, disability, class, and social justices’—and has called for removing sex designation from birth certificates.” Meanwhile, the Oklahoma State Medical Association “is working to strip parents of the right to choose if their children wear masks in school.”

Oklahomans might like to know just how deeply the Woke Revolution has infected the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine (OUCOM). Is it transitioning to Woke?

Group Identities

Already OUCOM encourages group identity quotas. OUCOM boasts of its OU Med REV UP!, which provides outreach and support to potential applicants to medical school, that, out of 148 students, “There were 42 students who are African American/Black; 32 who are Hispanic; 17 who are Native American; and 45 who designated other ethnicity/race. The group included 95 females, 49 males, and two students who identify as gender non-conforming. Nine of the students identified as LGBTQ+.”

OUCOM also sponsors the Diversity Scholar Visiting Medical Student Elective, a racialized dermatology fellowship meant to provide racialized direction both to the recipient and to the service it would provide: “Who is Eligible to Participate? … Economically disadvantaged or of a low socio-economic status (SES), or self-identifies as a member of a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in medicine relative to their numbers in the general population.”

Two-Spirit Indigenous Pansexuals and Other Causes

OUCOM members and institutional components increasingly dedicate themselves to the panoply of radical commitment. Several members of the Department of Pediatrics participated in an anti-racism summit and announced that their own initiatives “include a book club to specifically explore anti-racism topics. … The book club’s inaugural selection was Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Anti-Racist.”

The chair of the OU Health Science Center’s 2021 Bridges to Access Conference stated that, “In order to ... [care for our patients’ health] effectively, we must have a basic understanding of the systemic racial and socioeconomic issues that affect their lives. ... we should be actively seeking out and advocating for solutions to these problems.”

Pediatricians should “use language that does not assume heterosexual orientation or cisgender identity. For example, in discussing newborn care, it may be appropriate to refer to a birthing parent or a breast/chestfeeding parent.”

The Oklahoma Health Center sponsored workshops on “Everyday Bias for Healthcare Professionals,” “2S-LGBTQ+ Community Informed Simulation” [“2S” signifies Two Spirit Indigenous people], and “Unlocking Implicit Bias: How Our Hidden Attitudes Are Affecting How We Care for Our Patients.”

The Internal Medicine department sponsors a “Global Health and Social Justice Program,” which “aims to educate internal medicine residents on major global health issues, social justice, and healthcare inequities.”

And, of course, OUCOM has begun to build up its diversity bureaucracy. The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center has set up its own Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement (ODICE). Already ODICE has established a Bias Reporting Hotline. Their “We Are” campaign “is designed to establish a campus-wide movement centered around community and togetherness.” They recruit junior cadres, who presumably will be quick to report “bias”: “Become a D.O.V. Diversity Outreach Volunteer ... and join a community of care that is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion-related matters on campus and beyond.”

OUCOM’s Diversity Alliance Task Force, meanwhile, “envisions an enhanced institutional culture where equity and diversity are ... integrated into the work and lives of every student, faculty, and staff member.” The Task Force will push to “Enhance and increase learning development through promoting diversity in the formal and informal curricula.” Or, as a 2020 news article noted, “Currently, the task force is collaborating with the OU Health Sciences Center Chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association to plan a Black Lives Matter discussion panel.”

OUCOM’s Pediatrics Department adds its own Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Leadership Team to provide resources for their colleagues including the American Academy of Pediatrics’ “Words Matter: AAP Guidance on Inclusive, Anti-biased Language,” which recommends that pediatricians “Use language that does not assume heterosexual orientation or cisgender identity. For example, in discussing newborn care, it may be appropriate to refer to a birthing parent (and non-birthing parent, if applicable) or a breast/chestfeeding parent depending on the topic being discussed.” Other resources include “Ending Racism in Health Care,” “Microaggressions: Privileged Observers’ Duty to Act and What They Can Do,“ and “The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health.”

These personnel and initiatives presumably will add ever-thickening commitments to the Woke Revolution at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

‘Gender-Affirming’ Care

All this omens badly for the future. In the present, OUCOM already has adjusted its practice for “LGBTQ+” patients, including in pediatrics. Its Roy G. Biv Program “serves patients who identify as, lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual or other sexual orientation, male-to-female transgender, female-to-male transgender, non-binary, genderfluid, agender, or other gender.” Their “gender-affirming treatment and services” include “pausing puberty to further explore gender[;] managing gender-affirming hormone therapy[; and] helping find surgeons who perform gender-affirming surgeries[.]”

An October 2021 article notes that “OU Children's is leading the way in care for gender diverse teens with their Roy G. Biv program. Dr. Lawlis, a pediatrician and the program's gender specialist, says transitioning doesn't necessarily mean a jump to hormones or surgery. It often starts with reversible measures, like changing hair, clothes, and preferred pronouns, to even delaying puberty.” OU Medical System’s Statement of Patient Rights, meanwhile, guarantees that “The patient may also exercise his/her right to exclude any family members from participating in his/her healthcare decisions.” The document lists no parental rights.

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center touts this “gender-affirming” care, OCPA has reported, even as ex-transgenders warn against it.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis? OUCOM has contracted the disease of Wokeness. Surgery might yet save the patient—but Oklahomans should act swiftly.

The state legislature should pass SB 676 to prevent gender-reassignment medical treatment for minors. They should also pass a law to forbid “gender-affirming care,” require that parents be informed of all medical counsel given to minors, guarantee them the right to withdraw their children from such counsel, and give them the right to take legal action against violators—with substantial penalties, for which OUCOM will be held liable if any of its personnel are involved.

The state legislature also should pass a law forbidding OUCOM to consider diversity in admissions to and outreach for medical schools, as well as in their funding and direction of medical service. Oklahomans want good doctors and they don’t care about their race or sex. Oklahomans also want to be treated well, regardless of race or sex.

Oklahomans need and deserve doctors who treat all patients as equals. If OUCOM will not meet this standard voluntarily, then the legislature must step in.

[For more articles about higher education in Oklahoma, visit]

David Randall, Ph.D.

David Randall is the research director of the National Association of Scholars. He earned a Ph.D. in history from Rutgers University, an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Columbia University, a master’s degree in library science from the Palmer School at Long Island University, and a B.A. from Swarthmore College. Prior to working at NAS he was the sole librarian at the John McEnroe Library at New York Studio School.

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