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California Mandates Pharmacists Be Taught That Straight, White, Males Are ‘Privileged’

California enforces DEI training for pharmacists, stirring debate on its relevance and impact on the healthcare profession.

In a move that is causing considerable controversy, the California State Board of Pharmacy has implemented a mandate requiring all pharmacists to complete a “cultural competency and humility” training inspired by Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles before their licenses can be renewed. This regulation, stemming from the passage of California Assembly Bill AB 2194, signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, has sparked a heated debate about the role of such training in professional licensure and its implications for the pharmaceutical industry.

The training content, as revealed by a whistleblower pharmacist on Twitter/X, covers a range of topics that have traditionally been the purview of social sciences rather than pharmaceutical education. Pharmacists are being instructed on concepts such as privilege, systems of oppression, intersectionality, and the impact of colonialism on society. The program specifically identifies Christians, males, white people, straight individuals, and US citizens among others as privileged classes, directing attention to the societal power dynamics at play.

Critics argue that this training imposes a particular ideological viewpoint on professionals who are primarily concerned with providing healthcare services, not engaging in socio-political activism. The inclusion of material that categorizes individuals based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs into “privileged” and “non-privileged” groups is particularly contentious, raising concerns about the divisiveness of such an approach.

The rationale behind this training is to enhance pharmacists’ understanding of diverse patient backgrounds and to mitigate health disparities among underserved communities. However, the execution and content of the training have led to questions about its effectiveness and relevance to the pharmacists’ primary role of ensuring the safe and effective use of medications.

Furthermore, the mandatory nature of this training has raised alarm bells about the potential for overreach by regulatory bodies into the personal beliefs and values of licensed professionals. There is a growing fear that such mandates could set a precedent for other professional fields, leading to a situation where individuals might be forced to subscribe to specific ideological tenets to maintain their professional credentials. The implementation of AB 2194 also underscores a broader trend in California’s legislative approach, where DEI initiatives are increasingly being embedded into professional and educational standards.

As pharmacists grapple with the implications of this mandated training, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this approach is a misstep. Mandating “cultural competency and humility” training, which delves into divisive socio-political ideologies, is not only irrelevant to the core responsibilities of pharmacists but also imposes an undue ideological burden on these professionals. The requirement, born from California Assembly Bill AB 2194, reflects a troubling trend of overreach by regulatory bodies into the personal convictions of licensed individuals. The decision to enforce this training should be reconsidered and reversed, to respect the diversity of thought and to focus on the pharmacists’ primary mission of patient care and safety, free from unnecessary and controversial ideological mandates.

Robert Chernin

Robert Chernin

Robert B. Chernin has brought his years of political consulting and commentary back to radio. As a longtime entrepreneur, business leader, fundraiser and political confidant, Robert has a unique perspective with insights not heard anyway else. Robert has consulted on federal and statewide campaigns at the gubernatorial, congressional, senatorial, and presidential level. He served in leadership roles in the presidential campaigns of President George W. Bush as well as McCain for President. He led Florida’s Victory 2004’s national Jewish outreach operations as Executive Director. In addition, he served on the President’s Committee of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Robert co-founded and served as president of the Electoral Science Institute, a non-profit organization that utilizes behavioral science to increase voter participation and awareness. Robert can be heard on multiple radio stations and viewed on the “Of the People” podcast where you get your podcasts.