First-year medical students at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine were reportedly exposed to radical viewpoints through their curriculum, advocating for the abolition of national borders. This controversial educational content was highlighted by the medical transparency organization Do No Harm, which shared details with National Review about the assignments within the “Structural Racism and Health Equity” course.
The contentious materials included a scholarly article advocating for a borderless system to enhance migrant solidarity and suggested that the abolition of borders could serve as a “medical intervention” to address health disparities among migrants, attributed to the enforcement of borders.
Additionally, students were directed to a 2021 interview with Canadian immigration activist Harsha Walia in The Guardian, where Walia dismissed the notion of a border crisis, attributing mass migration instead to factors like capitalism, war, and the climate emergency. Walia criticized the portrayal of migration surges as crises, interpreting such language as racially coded and aimed at fearmongering about non-white populations overwhelming predominantly white countries.
Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, Board Chair of Do No Harm, criticized UCLA’s approach, accusing the medical school of attempting to mold students into social activists under the guise of medical education. Goldfarb argued that such teachings not only undermine the quality of medical training but also contribute to societal division and deteriorate healthcare standards.
This development at UCLA’s medical school comes amid ongoing debates over the intersection of social justice ideologies and professional education, particularly in fields as critical as healthcare, where the primary focus traditionally lies in scientific rigor and patient care.
As the conversation around these educational practices continues, critics and supporters alike weigh the implications of integrating political and social activism into the curriculum of future healthcare professionals.