Musk Addresses Serious Consequences Of Lowering Standards For Doctors

The concept of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the hiring practices of various industries has resulted in increased concern that individuals are being given opportunities — sometimes with life-and-death consequences attached — based on their identity rather than their capability.

Recent reports suggest that standards have been lowered for surgeons and other types of doctors at Duke University, and tech billionaire Elon Musk shared his take on the matter in a somewhat contentious exchange with former CNN host Don Lemon.

The interview was hosted on X, the social media platform Musk purchased in 2022 when it was known as Twitter.

Although he said that it has not become an issue yet, he predicted that patients would begin dying as a result of lowered standards within the healthcare system.

“Let’s say a surgeon in training is asked to do a series of operations under the supervision of a senior surgeon and they get a bunch of those operations wrong,” Musk said. “If that happens and if they are still approved to be a surgeon, the probability that someone will die is high.”

For his part, Lemon maintained a laser-like focus on his allegation that Blacks have been systematically oppressed by majority-White doctors.

Musk responded with his objective claim that lowering standards for any healthcare provider would be detrimental to the outcomes of patients regardless of their skin color.

“If we lower standards for what it takes to become a board-certified surgeon or an oncologist or something where the kind of disease we’re talking about, if you make a mistake causes someone to die, then more people will die than if we don’t lower the standards,” Musk reasoned. “So we should not lower the standards.”

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, who founded the nonprofit organization Do No Harm to reject a “radical progressive ideology” that was taking root within the medical field, has also spoken out against the deleterious impact he believes DEI is having on the industry.

While he acknowledged that minority patients often have worse outcomes after seeking medical care than Whites, he did not agree with Lemon’s assessment of the cause.

“DEI says that the reason for this is because White physicians, particularly male White physicians, are treating patients poorly because they’re Black, as opposed to really trying to understand the basis for why these healthcare disparities exist, which turns out to be because people do no avail themselves of adequate healthcare,” Goldfarb said. “They don’t come in with their early symptoms, they wait until it’s late in the course of disease and their outcomes are much worse. And this is true over and over again for a whole variety of illnesses.”