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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

I’m a doctor and my Black parents saw me break free of segregation. Now medical schools are bringing it back

My mother and father went to segregated schools, separated from Whites because they were Black. They told me, as a child, that they wanted better for me. They got their wish when I went to Stanford University and then the University of California at San Francisco’s medical school, both fully integrated and welcoming. Before they passed away, they firmly believed that the era of separating people by race was over forever.  

My parents were wrong. 

Higher education is deliberately re-segregating, driven by race-obsessed activists who, bizarrely, claim to oppose “systemic racism.” Universities like Harvard and Chicago have held Black-only graduation ceremonies in recent years.


And in recent weeks, America’s most prestigious medical journal published a now infamous article calling for separating the races into different groups – based on a pilot program at my own alma mater. This is easily the greatest regression in civil rights in my lifetime, bringing back the very evil my parents endured and dreaded. 

Dr. Marilyn Singleton is a board-certified anesthesiologist and a visiting fellow at Do No Harm.

Dr. Marilyn Singleton experienced how important it is to escape segregation. Now the medical community wants to bring it back.

The new article, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is brazen in its defense of racial segregation. At the UCSF medical school, people of different races were separated into so-called “affinity groups,” which met regularly and supplemented the school’s actual curriculum. 

Supposedly, these groups benefit Blacks, giving us a place for “expressing … a full range of emotions.” White groups, meanwhile, apparently provide a place to be “held accountable” and “learn to be thoughtful allies.” According to this argument, everyone is made stronger when no one mixes together. 

My parents were familiar with the argument that segregation was good for all – Black, White, you name it. That was false 100 years ago, and it’s still false now. That’s especially true when you look at the rationale behind this new segregation. 

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, medical schools are “retraumatizing, resulting in imposter syndrome, heightened anxiety, and a reduced sense of belonging” for Blacks like me, requiring segregated “approaches” that ostensibly work better for us. 

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This is blatant racism. It implies that Blacks can’t deal with the rigors of medical education because of our skin color. And it holds that we need to be shoved into our own group – let’s call it “separate but equal” – if we hope to succeed. Hogwash. Clearly, Black medical students can succeed just fine without being segregated. I prove it. So do countless others, going back decades. 

It’s bad enough that demanding segregation passes for medical expertise these days. Yet what’s infinitely worse is what will happen as segregation returns.


It’s already happening, and not just at my alma mater. The UMass Chan Medical School has created segregated affinity groups, too, and the day is coming when every medical school will do the same, to say nothing of the rest of higher education. 

Black students are already being told to form their own groups and hold their own graduation ceremonies. What’s next, encouraging them to work in Black-only hospitals, live in Black-only neighborhoods, and send their kids to Black-only schools? No one would ever say Whites should do any of that, so why is it acceptable to push Blacks into our own separate corner? 

My parents were familiar with the argument that segregation was good for all – Black, White, you name it. That was false 100 years ago, and it’s still false now. That’s especially true when you look at the rationale behind this new segregation. 

This sick turn of events is especially galling in medical education. Our profession has proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that every person is equal, since we’re all the same on the inside. Yet now future physicians are being taught to view people differently, and worse, as potential threats to their emotional and even physical well-being. 


They’re being told to view each other as just that – “other.” It’s not long before you start to see each other as not merely different, but lesser, and eventually, as less than human. 

The people pushing this madness are right about one thing: Systemic racism is real. They’re proving it, by bringing back racial segregation into the higher education system. My parents saw it end once, sending me to schools where everyone was equal and civil rights were respected. Nothing could be worse than subjecting our children and grandchildren to the evil of segregation all over again. 

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