University of Chicago Med School Offers CDC-Funded Course On ‘Medical Misinformation’

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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A major Chicago medical school is now offering a class on “medical misinformation” that officials say is part of an effort to level the playing field against social media and medicinal hucksters.

The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine began offering the medical misinformation course last year and is now offering a shortened version to nurses, pharmacy residents and senior medical students, according to the Chicago Tribune. While the class was spawned out of the COVID-19 pandemic and certain debates pertaining to it, it has now expanded to cover topics like “gender-affirming” care, a euphemism for sex change operations, and dietary advice.

Funding for the course was provided in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which gave grants to five medical schools to address misinformation in the medical field, according to the Chicago Tribune. The CDC has, on multiple occasions, characterized true facts about COVID-19 as misinformation, or omitted key information from its guidance, such as the role natural immunity played in protecting patients or the ineffectiveness of cloth masks against the Omicron variant.

“We’re trying to essentially make it a fair fight,” instructor Sara Serritella, a former journalist who now serves as director of communications at the UC Institute for Translational Medicine, said, according to the outlet. “As we saw during the pandemic, this whole crisis of having to communicate science in a way that builds trust can literally be life or death.” (RELATED: Biden FDA Commissioner Says ‘Misinformation’ Is ‘Leading Cause Of Death’ In America)

In one class reported on by the Tribune, students brainstormed potential “misinformation” they might encounter and prepared infographics to dispel those alleged myths. One student chose to create an infographic on why ivermectin is not an effective COVID-19 treatment. Another tackled why sugar-free diets aren’t necessarily healthy, because sugar is important for the body as long as it isn’t consumed in excess.

One student created an infographic in support of gender-affirming hormone treatment for children, which can lead to permanent sterilization or stunted sexual development. The use of puberty blockers in gender-confused children can “give families time to explore their child’s gender and gather information without causing distress to the child,” student Maeson Zietowski wrote, according to the Chicago Tribune. “If stopped, puberty will resume normally as the sex assigned at birth.”

That last statement, ironically, could be considered by some to be misinformation. The United Kingdom’s National Health Service, the government provider of healthcare, altered its guidance in 2020 to no longer claim that puberty blockers are reversible. It now advises that “little is known about the long-term side effects of hormone or puberty blockers in children with gender dysphoria. Although GIDS advises this is a physically reversible treatment if stopped, it is not known what the psychological effects may be. It’s also not known whether hormone blockers affect the development of the teenage brain or children’s bones.”

The school is named after the Pritzker family, which made a significant donation for the naming rights in 1968, according to UChicago Medicine. J.B. Pritzker is currently the Democratic governor of Illinois and is a strong supporter of gender ideology.