Opinion

Image of a thumbs down.

On Thursday April 27 UCSF held the 10th Annual Chancellor’s Leadership Forum on Diversity and Inclusion, but I was not entirely convinced that all of the leadership were there to listen. In fact, one exchange in particular told me that when it comes to diversity at UCSF, lip service sometimes takes precedence over action.

Image of Dr. Robert Reich at a podium.

Professor Robert Reich believes that the greatest current threat to our democracy is not our president, not congressmen, and not the bureaucracy of our political system. It is that Americans have lost faith in the strength of their country’s democratic institutions.

UCSF students rally in Washington DC in front of the White House during the March for Science gathering.

“Is the March for Science political?” my friend asked me a week before the march. “Why are you doing it?” I thought about these two questions leading up to the UCSF Stand Up for Science Rally and March for Science, which I participated in along with hundreds of UCSF students, postdocs, faculty, staff and community.

A circle of hands meet at a center point.
By Ray

In college, I used to have this one thought every finals week after weekends of pushing back studying while going to bars and binging on TV shows, only to finally cram in the library and study like a life depended on it.

HIV rates are declining as a whole among men who have sex with men, but rates aren’t decreasing for Black and Latino populations. The goal is Getting to Zero, but are the institutions dedicated to the cause actually dedicated to these groups?

I am a Christian. And I am gay. These two factions of my life have clashed and pulled me in opposite directions my whole life. Among my church family, I heard words like abomination, disgusting, unnatural. Among my LGBTQ family, I heard words like bigotry, narrow-minded, unloving. My choices? Go to hell or live denying myself of love. This rhetoric left me so suffocated, to the point that I actually played with the notion of an irreversible “easy way out” in college. So naturally, I moved to San Francisco.

The future of medicine is prevention. And yet, like so many organizations so excited about measurable outcomes that they’ve forgotten the purpose of medicine and public health policy — to heal and help self and community resilience — UCSF is considering axing its 19-years-running Chancellor’s Concert Series. Citing lackluster attendance and other priorities, organizers announced a possible end to the series during the March 2 concert at Cole Hall. The office of Campus Life Services is missing the forest of health through the trees of short-term thinking.

“Natural selection making 'education genes' rarer.” “Intelligence is being bred out of the gene pool.” Can you recognize which of these headlines is realistic or exaggerated? The answer is that each is a little of both — and they’re reflective of a disturbing trend. These and other current headlines are skewing real science.

“Every time I place an intrauterine device I feel like Margaret Sanger!” Lisa DiGiorgio-Haag exclaimed. DiGiorgio-Haag has been a nurse practitioner at UCSF Student Health for 24 years and specializes in women’s health. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, and went on to earn a Master of Science in Nursing and certification eligibility as a Family Nurse Practitioner from UCSF. It was during her graduate studies that DiGiorgio-Haag decided to focus on women’s health, despite being discouraged to do so.

As future medical professionals, it is imperative that we stay informed of the rapidly changing landscape of medical aid in zones of conflict. The intentional targeting of health care workers and patients in medical settings can in no way become the new-normal. While speaking out against these issues is a first step, much more needs to be done on both a national and international level to effect sustainable change.