University Requires Photos Of Applicants For ‘Diversity In Surgery’ Internship

(Screenshot/YouTube/Loyola University Chicago Undergraduate Admission)

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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The United States Department of Education (DOE) will investigate a race-based internship program at a Chicago medical school which requires applicants to submit a photo of themselves, according to medical watchdog group Do No Harm.

The Loyola University Chicago (LUC) Stritch School of Medicine Department of Surgery offers a sub-internship program for students who are “African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander,” according to its website. Do No Harm program manager Laura Morgan filed a complaint with the DOE in August 2022 alleging the program violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits race-based discrimination. (RELATED: California Medical School Under Federal Investigation For Operating Race-Based Clerkship)

“It is a clear violation of Title VI that Loyola University is illegally excluding and discriminating against certain medical students and denying them educational opportunities, surgical mentorship, networking, and scholarships on the basis of their race, color, or national origin that are being offered exclusively to Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans,” Mark Perry, Do No Harm senior fellow and professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The DOE responded to Morgan on Jan. 19 and confirmed it would investigate the school for potential civil rights violations.

“OCR can confirm that there is an open investigation into Loyola University – Stritch School of Medicine under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” an Education Department spokesperson told the DCNF. “We do not comment on open investigations.”

The sub-internship program “is intended to encourage medical students from racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in medicine to consider pursuing a career in academic surgery,” according to its website. Applicants must send in a photo in their application materials.

Sub-interns can be placed in various services including the burn unit, colon and rectal surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery and trauma surgery where they will assist the surgical team and gain operating room experience. The program lasts for four weeks and sub-interns receive up to $2,500 in stipends to help with cost of living.

“Loyola Medical School’s discrimination is representative of the illegal discrimination taking place at almost every US medical school on the basis of race, color, or national origin. This is just one more disappointing example of dozens of medical schools either being cluelessly unaware that this type of discrimination is illegal or they are instead inexcusably unconcerned about violating the civil rights of certain groups of students (white, Asian, and Middle Eastern students),” Perry said. “Our research has revealed that almost every US medical school now illegally discriminates based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, or national origin and we have filed more than 50 complaints in the last year to challenge that illegal discrimination at medical schools.”

Morgan and LUC did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

This story has been updated with comment from Do No Harm and the U.S. Department of Education.

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