Harvard Medical School Removes Portraits of White Doctors

It seems that Harvard Medical School has recently realized that history is far from politically correct as the president has carried out her plan to remove portraits of former department heads from the school’s halls. The reason given for the removal is that all thirty-one portraits portray men. Furthermore, only one (a doctor of Chinese origin) is from an ethnic minority while the other men are white.

Harvard Medical School president Dr. Betsy Nabel recently commented that she has thought about moving the portraits for years in order to create a more accommodating environment for women students and people of color. In her mind, prominently displaying images of only white men could make students feel uncomfortable. However, the one question that no one has thought to ask is whether students who can’t handle looking at white men are really cut out to handle more difficult tasks such as urology, proctology, pathology or performing a routine autopsy. Medicine is not a field for the faint of heart, and focusing on visual microaggressions isn’t going to prepare future doctors to do their job.

Furthermore, as a current Harvard Medical School student who is both a woman and from a racial minority accurately noted, taking down portraits doesn’t really change anything. The past is set in stone, and it’s impossible to change the names and identities of people who in fact contributed greatly to the world of modern medicine.

Some of the heroes of the past who have had their portraits removed simply because they are white include Dr. Harvey Cushing, the father of neurosurgery; Benjamin Waterhouse, one of the three founders of Harvard Medical School and the person who first introduced the smallpox vaccine into the United States; Oliver Wendell Holmes, who was not only an HMS dean but also a famous physician and anatomist, and Dr. Henry Christian, the school’s first chief of medicine.

While the school’s current plan is to distribute the paintings throughout the campus and then add new paintings featuring doctors from a more diverse background, one has to wonder how the school will choose new portraits. Will there be racial quotas? What if a medical professional who makes great strides in medicine in the future happens to be a white male? Would his portrait be excluded in favor of someone who accomplished less but happens to be female and/or from an ethnic background?

It is worth noting that Harvard is already facing a lawsuit over its questionable admission policies that exclude smart, studious students of Asian origin in favor of maintaining a “diversified” campus. It would seem that this alone would cause administrators to question its overt focus on diversification rather than put an even higher priority on it.

It’s true that American history includes a great deal of racism. As liberal activists like to point out, Harvard Medical School does feature many portraits, statues and plaques of people who were not only white, but also racist by modern standards. However, the fact also remains that many of these same people were famous doctors and medical professionals whose contributions to the field of medicine have benefited men and women from all walks of life. Others were wealthy men who made large donations to the school so that it could continue its important mission. Changing building names, adding new statues and taking down portraits isn’t going to change what happened many decades ago, and it certainly won’t empower the school’s current and future students to be the best they can be in their fields.

While erasing the past in favor of creating a more politically correct future is a popular concept among the same people who also believe in the paramount importance of creating safe spaces and policing microaggressions, the fact is that some of the world’s most brutal dictators also believed in erasing the past in order to create what they viewed as a “better society”.

Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin and other tyrants also believed that purging the past to fit their present narrative was the best way to create the future they desired. Unfortunately, their efforts only resulted in oppression and lack of freedom for everyone, not only the designated “hated class”. Those who want to change the future are likely to find that the best way to do so is to openly and honestly admit that many great doctors in the past were far from perfect, and then look for ways to bring about positive change today.

~ Conservative Zone


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22 responses to “Harvard Medical School Removes Portraits of White Doctors”

  1. A dictator, or garden variety tyrant, could, (but only in a bad B-movie, of course), weaponize the IRS, DOJ, FBI, FCC, Federal Reserve, NSA, CIA, and the election process especially campaign “donations” and which news outlets can report what information and WHEN they can report it.

    Nah – so ridiculous nobody’d go see it.

  2. How stupid of the Harvard Medical School president! The removed portraits were of Department Heads. If you insist on having diversity up on the walls, then women and people of color need to become Department Heads and then they, too, can have their pictures on the wall. Women and the different races must work and strive to meet whatever requirements there are to become a Department Head. I have no doubt there are just as many women and people of color who are as intelligent and talented as the men…so get to work! And, Dr. Nabel, put the Dept Head portraits back on the wall– you’re being ridiculous!

    • Yes, remove the President of Harvard first. Then re-install the portraits. Who do they think built this country, Mexicans, Chinese, Asians, no it was was white anglo saxon protestants for the most part. Look around, it’s pretty obvious. Lincoln was white, Washington was white, Jefferson was white, Franklin, Roosevelt, Carnegie, Morgan, etc., etc., etc. I’m not saying people of color didn’t contribute or shouldn’t be recognized however, let’s not get confused as to who built this country.

  3. Making it ALL NOT WHITE is not making it inclusive it is DISCRIMINATION based on race pure and simple.

    Removing the portraits of White doctors is not about making it more inclusive to minorities it is about HIDING the fact that their are white doctors in an effort to imply to future students that only MINORITIES achieved anything.

    “Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin and other tyrants also believed that purging the past to fit their present narrative was the best way to create the future they desired. Unfortunately, their efforts only resulted in oppression and lack of freedom for everyone, not only the designated “hated class”. Those who want to change the future are likely to find that the best way to do so is to openly and honestly admit that many great doctors in the past were far from perfect, and then look for ways to bring about positive change today.”

    Those who follow the ideologies of these tyrants in an effort to SUPPRESS history are simply wanting to REPEAT that history as the ones in charge.

  4. Better yet, delete all research and other medical data discovered by the horrible white guys and then let some new people start from scratch.

  5. Please, now Harvard sudden;y seems to be run by people with the collective IQ’s of a bag of rocks. Optics over facts.

    To erase, ignore or deny contributions made by anybody of any color is wrong. So what are we doing now? Are we going to put up the face of a person who has not discovered any new medicine, treatment, surgical procedure or therapy and celebrate another person who just happens to add a different skin color or ethnic background to “the walls”. So then we’ll focus on token doctors rather than the more or most qualified.

    There is no truth where history is subdued or rewritten to serve political agendas. And if people feel that “whites” or Caucasians of European descent have gotten all the attention and held all the power then maybe that will motivate you to try harder. After all what kind of feeling of accomplishment would you have if things were given to you JUST because you were from a particular country or had a certain look.
    Stop living in the past and claiming injustices. Don’t blame you failures or what you lack on the shoulders of other people. Move forward and remember that the future has yet to be written so anything is possible.

  6. That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!! I would think that, as President of HMS, your time would be best spent on more important duties such as making sure that HMS stays among the elite medical schools in the country, instead of removing history (incidentally, it cannot be done) and pretending that it never happened!!

  7. No one should be surprised by anything done by the academic community. That community is all about re-writing history to fit their pre-determined agenda.

  8. She’s dumber than dirt !! I guess she doesn’t realize that she CANNOT change history regardless of what she does.

  9. Business as usual. First they only wanted to enroll white men. Then minorities were admitted whether qualified or not. When only white men were admitted they had to be qualified or they were out of luck. Then there was a big push for women(qualified or not). Who looks for the dumbest doctor ? I always have a woman primary and my other doctors are of various races. Isn’t it the patient who picks their doctors ?

  10. This is, indeed, liberal 1984 (book) .

    The Asian lawsuit is garbage. The claim is that Harvard us biased against Asians because some have higher ACT/SAT scores than other students who are admitted. But Harvard wants a diverse class, and has many to choose from among the 42,000 who apply versus the 2,000 spaces in each class. Otherwise, it might mirror UCLA (colloquially called University of California with Lots of Asians).
    This year’s admitted class is only 48% white.
    It is 19% Asian. But the Asian population in the US is 6%. One could more easily say that this is unfair to whites, and kick out the overage (13%) of Asians to get it down to the representative 6%…fair is fair, isn’t it?
    When I was an undergraduate, the story went around that the headmaster of a prep school had called the Harvard admissions director to recommend an applicant who had an A minus average and was a good offensive lineman (football). He was told that the football team had already been set, and that Admissions was instead looking for an oboe player for the orchestra.
    Harvard could admit 2,000 valedictorians, or 2,000 applicants who have 1600 SAT scores. Test scores are not the only criterion for Harvard, which weighs leadership, outside activities, etc., in admissions.
    Taking down the portraits (Waterhouse, Cushing…giants…are you kidding me?) is at the least utter stupidity from Dean Comrade Betsy.

  11. Nothing is engraved in stone. Move the damn pics around. Why not? Nobody will die because of this.

  12. I suggest that the BIG DONORS to the medical school pull their donations – lets see how fast those pics are back up on the wall.

  13. OK Line up. Who wants to be first to choose your surgeon, dentist, mechanic etc. by race? Why would we want to choose on ability?

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