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Medical students’ woke oath promises to promote a ‘culture of anti-racism,’ condemns ‘inequities’ of ‘white supremacy, colonialism, the gender binary’

Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

University of Minnesota Medical School students recited a revised version of the Hippocratic Oath during an August white coat ceremony. The pledge was packed with woke references to climate change and anti-racism.

Students vowed to recognize the “inequities built by past and present traumas rooted in white supremacy, colonialism, the gender binary, ableism, and all forms of oppression.”

During the ceremony, a program handout with the oath was provided to the medical students and their friends and family attending the event. The program noted that fifteen incoming medical students wrote the modified pledge.

Minnesota’s WDIO reported that 240 students attended the white coat ceremony, including “19% first-generation students, 54% women, and 41% BIPOC students.”

Associate dean for undergraduate medical education Robert Englander led the class of 2026 in reciting the oath.

UMMS media relations manager Kat Dodge told Campus Reform that “it is a common practice at medical schools in the United States to build upon the intent of the Hippocratic Oath to promote humility, integrity, and beneficence.”

“Each year at the UMMS, the incoming students work with faculty to write an oath that reflects these core elements, values, and ethics the class aspires to uphold,” Dodge stated.

The beginning of the student-composed pledge read, “Our institution is located on Dakota land. Today, many Indigenous people from throughout the state, including Dakota and Ojibwe, call the Twin Cities home; we also recognize this acknowledgment is not enough.”

The incoming medical students promised their commitment to “uprooting the legacy and perpetuation of structural violence deeply embedded within the healthcare system.”

“As we enter this profession with opportunity for growth, we commit to promoting a culture of anti-racism, listening, and amplifying voices for positive change,” the oath read.

Students reciting the pledge swore to “honor all Indigenous ways of healing that have been historically marginalized by Western medicine” and commit themselves to “healing our planet.”

The medical students also vowed to collaborate with “social, political, and additional systems to advance health equity.”

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