Surgeon discusses “toxic” DEI and argues it led to “erosion” of medical care

In a column, Dr. Richard Bosshardt criticized DEI, suggesting it contributed to the decline in medical care. He also took aim at the American College of Surgeons, implying the organization prioritized discussing “White privilege” and “implicit bias” over maintaining quality.

Who is Dr. Bosshardt?

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The plastic surgeon, based in Florida, has decades of experience in the field. He is also a columnist whose pieces were published in The Wall Street Journal, City Journal, and National Review. He was part of a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) for thirty years. 

The controversy 

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Bosshardt was “banned for life from the ACS Communities” following online discussions. On Change.org, the surgeon writes that he was removed “because I objected to the characterization of the ACS as a systemically racist organization, of surgeons as implicitly racist, and of the surgery itself as a racist discipline in which non-white patients do not fare as well as white patients when operated upon by white surgeons.”

Surgeon takes on DEI 

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Among his latest op-eds, Dr. Bosshardt wrote about ACS’s toolkit to support DEI, “The tool kit is an exhaustive, some might say exhausting, compilation of everything related to pushing the narrative of systemic and structural racism as the source of disparities including minority representation within the ACS and clinical outcomes in minority surgical patients.” 

No time to mold young surgeons 

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The surgeon further claimed that the “unbelievably toxic” idea uses inadequate studies to prove that racism penetrates surgery and affects Black patients negatively. The doctor elaborated, “To assume that we can continue to turn out excellent surgeons and simultaneously burden surgical education with the degree of time-consuming indoctrination in anti-racism and DEI demanded by the ACS tool kit is, at best, foolish and futile, and, at worst, dangerous to our patients.” 

“Erosion of quality in surgery”

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In his column for the National Review, Dr. Bosshardt continued, “I have spoken to many of my surgical peers, and we agree that we are already seeing an erosion of quality in surgery, with many programs turning out surgeons who are not ready to practice independently.”

Speaking from experience 

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The doctor continued, “I have spoken to surgical residents who report a sense that they are not getting the necessary hands-on clinical and surgical experience to feel confident while being simultaneously tasked with assimilating and regurgitating anti-racist and DEI ideology.” 

ACS rapidly adopted DEI 

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In the column “It’s DEI or Bust for the American College of Surgeons,” the surgeon explained how ACS adopted anti-racism and DEI in 2020 and mentioned that the organization doubled down on its DEI teaching in recent months. But, this comes at the same time many organizations and companies are toning down their DEI policies over potential lawsuits. 

Duvall’s lawsuit comes to conclusion

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In 2018, hospital operator Novant Health Inc. fired former senior vice president David Duvall. He sued in 2019 upon learning he was replaced by a Black woman. The case was concluded in December 2023, and Duvall was awarded $3.4 million. Duvall cited he was fired “without warning or cause as part of an intentional campaign to promote diversity in its management ranks.” 

The statistics regarding “reverse discrimination”

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ResumeBuilder.com surveyed 1,000 managers across the States, with 1 in 6 revealing they were told to “deprioritize” hiring white males. Around 70 percent think their company was promoting DEI (Diversity, equity, and inclusion) for the sake of image, while over 50 percent believe their company was involved in “reverse discrimination.” 

DEI was profitable

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Paradigm, a consulting firm, found in its report that the last year “has undeniably shifted the DEI landscape for years to come.” The company’s report stated, “External forces are no longer pushing companies to invest in DEI; instead, in some cases, external forces are pushing back on companies’ investment in DEI.” 

Major players adjusted their policies 

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Reuters reported that “at least six major U.S. companies, including JPMorgan Chase, have modified policies meant to boost racial and ethnic representation that conservative groups threatened to sue over.” 

Dr. Bosshardt’s Do No Harm involvement

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The surgeon is part of the Do No Harm organization, which believes that “the radical ideology of ‘anti-racism’ is creating new barriers and bad practices that are endangering the health and well-being of everyone – including the people it claims to help.” 

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