A prominent Chicago medical school is under investigation for slapping racial limits on an internship program – and forcing applicants to submit a photo of themselves.
The Department of Surgery at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine violated federal civil rights laws with the eligibility requirements for the internship that limits membership to people of color, a complaint by the group Do Not Harm claims.
The “Diversity in Surgery Visiting Sub-Internship Program” is open only to applicants who are “African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian/Alaska Native, [or] Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander,” according to the school’s website.
The U.S. Department of Education confirmed to Fox News Digital it was probing the complaint from the group, which was first filed in August.
Mark Perry, a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan who also serves as senior fellow at Do No Harm, claimed race-based discrimination is happening in medical schools nationwide.
“Medical schools like Loyola’s can prioritize either academic merit or diversity in their medical education programs, but not both,” Perry told Fox News Digital.
“By emphasizing racial diversity over merit and academic ability with the discriminatory Diversity in Surgery Visiting Sub-Internship Program, the Loyola Medical School is compromising its academic responsibilities and pursuing a political and ideologically driven diversity agenda over medical education based on merit and academic excellence.”
Perry said choosing students based on diversity criteria will ultimately lead to “a decline in the quality of medical providers.”
“There’s the legal issue and then also the quality of medical care will have to decline because of all this focus on ideology and critical race theory and all of that diversion from just learning how to be a good doctor,” Perry said.
Do No Harm describes itself as “a diverse group of physicians, healthcare professionals, medical students, patients, and policymakers” opposed to “radical, divisive, and discriminatory ideology” infiltrating healthcare.
The group’s complaint alleged the school violated Title VI’s prohibition of race-based discrimination by racially limiting the program, which pays a stipend to interns and places them in situations where they will assist the surgical team.
The four-week 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 the school’s website.
In her Jan. 19 reply to Morgan’s complaint, supervisory attorney Marcela Sanchez-Aguilar said its Office of Civil Rights (OCR) would be looking into the school’s possible civil rights violations.
“OCR has determined that it will investigate the complaint,” Sanchez-Aguilar wrote.
“Please understand that opening an investigation does not mean that OCR has made a decision about the complaint. During the investigation, OCR is neutral; OCR will collect and analyze the evidence it needs in order to make a decision about the complaint.”
Perry told Fox News Digital that his group is looking at similar cases.
“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,” Perry said.
The university did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.