, 13 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
Lots of discussion the past few days set off by the @WSJopinion piece about the role of social justice in medicine.

A brief thread for those who missed it or want a refresher:

Things started with an attention-grabbing op-ed with an even more cringe-worthy title, arguing that climate change, population health, and other similar areas of study have no place in medical school: wsj.com/articles/take-…

One unforgettable bit:

"Why have medical schools become a target for inculcating social policy when the stated purpose of medical education since Hippocrates has been to develop individuals who know how to cure patients?"

Obviously, no one could be interested in 2 things.

This piece (understandably) caused quite the #medtwitter #twitterstorm, some of whom called for the author of the original op-ed to be fired.

And this response from @PennMedicine leadership circulated to Penn staff and faculty.

A thoughtful response to the original op-ed was published in the @PhillyInquirer by several @PennMedicine faculty, arguing that social justice, health policy, and population health are at the core of modern medical practice: inquirer.com/health/social-…

In response, @WSJ upped the ante by calling out "left-wing medical Twitter" and offering that "maybe we should begin to wonder about the quality of the doctors who graduate from Penn." wsj.com/articles/corru…

Finally, @JAMA_current brought things full-circle with a poll that described a false dichotomy of medical students needing to choose between becoming "physician scientists" and "physician social justice activists"

This, of course, led to further #medtwitter outrage (and, as I'm sure JAMA is pleased to see, over 15,000 votes on their poll with 7 hours still remaining

My take? I disagree adamantly with the original op-ed. There is no evidence that touching upon policy, social justice, & population health make med school grads any less able to cure patients. In fact, many data support the opposite conclusion.

That said, publishing a crappy "get-off-my-lawn" opinion isnt grounds for firing. Calling for someone's job is world-class over the top.

Not to be out-done, @WSJ's response was UNIVERSE-class over the top. Question the quality of grads of a top med school? Puh-leeze

The JAMA poll and its blow-back is icing on the cake. False dichotomy, but only because it doesnt NEED to be a dichotomy.

If an individual WANTS to become a physician scientist OR a physician social justice advocate (OR, God forbid, "just" a physician"), they can!

That's one of the truly amazing things about medicine: it's a choose-your-own-adventure career. Med school is the 1st step, & you can then take it in countless different directions. And it's a field in which free expression and open communication are fundamentally important

So to #medtwitter and #meded twitter: keep encouraging and supporting current med students and trainees, but remember that there are a helluva lot of different paths. Each student ultimately blazes their own - it's on us to give them the tools to do that.

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