The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), a professional organization of medical physicists “responsible for all things radiation and medicine” in cancer treatment, has put together several racial-, ethnic-, and sexual orientation-based committees to, among other things, “replace gendered pronoun usage with gender-neutral language.”
Breitbart News reached out to a medical physicist practicing in a cancer center who is a member of the AAPM to talk about the implications of bringing the notoriously divisive ideologies to medical science and cancer treatment. He spoke to Breitbart News on the condition that he not be named for fear of social and professional retribution.
A medical physicist is someone who oversees the safe usage of radiation and imaging in order to properly treat cancer patients. “Most people aren’t going to know that we exist until, unfortunately, they’ve had cancer treatments for cancer,” the medical physicist told Breitbart News. “So any cancer patient who’s ever had a radiation treatment, whether they know it or not, has had an interaction with a medical physicist, because that person, in my role, sort of assumes the responsibility for the safety of that patient, the safe use and effective use of radiation to treat their cancer.”
He said the AAPM, an organization that would normally focus on scientific discovery and advances in technology and medicine, is now investing time and energy into diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives. “In a normal world, or in years past, it would be like, ‘Hey, there’s a new report on CT quality assurance for this type of cancer and how to protect pediatric patients from too much radiation.’ But now, they’re listing out recently formed task groups that say, ‘Hey, we formed a task group for sexual and gender minority physicists.’”
AAPM’s “Sexual and Gender Minority Subcommittee” seeks to “foster and promote intersectionality,” as well as focus on recruiting more members of that group into the field. Another committee, which is focused on the use of gendered language in the field, is tasked with “recommend[ing] changes in wording to replace gendered pronoun usage with gender-neutral language where appropriate.”
“The committee is encouraged to consider whether to use specific gender-neutral pronouns (“they,” “xe,” etc) or to rewrite the sentences to avoid the use of pronouns altogether,” the committee charter states. “The latter approach may be the more robust change in view of the fluid evolution of pronoun usage.”
“It’s just like, what are we focusing on?” the medical physicist told Breitbart News. “Are we focusing on technology and advancements that are gonna help us fight cancer and help treat patients more safely? Or are we focused on, frankly, this political nonsense?”
He told Breitbart News that the people who are pushing for these committees are primarily at the academic centers, saying that was “kind of scary in its own right because academic centers are supposed to be the ones that push the new technologies and have the resources and the finances to, for example, buy state-of-the-art equipment and engage in more clinical trials.”
The medical physicist said many in the organization are afraid to speak up for fear of being blacklisted or having their careers ruined. “I think some of these people on the executive board are at the biggest cancer centers, the most renowned in the country, like MD Anderson in Texas, you know, it’s kind of like the nucleus of radiation oncology.”
“I’d like to speak up, I’d like to say, ‘Hey, what does this have to do with our profession? This is a professional organization, not an activist organization,’” he said. “I think a lot of people, a surprisingly large number, would love to say something.”
But AAPM does appear to place activists as chairs of the committees. Toni Roth, the chair of the “Sexual and Gender Minority Subcommittee,” describes herself on Twitter as “Medical Physicist, Intersectional Feminist, Androgynous Chic, Pronouns: she/her/hers, Salutation: Mx.” She has retweeted radicals like Stacey Abrams and critical race theory purveyor Ibram X. Kendi.
Julianne Pollard-Larkin, who chairs the “Black and African American Medical Physics Subcommittee” as well as the “Ad hoc Advisory Committee on Gender-Neutral Language in Governance Documents” appears to advocate for “affinity groups” which often involve racial segregation.
— Julianne Pollard-Larkin, PhD (@JulieLarkin305) November 18, 2021
“Friends of mine from school that are practicing at cancer centers across the country kind of all like look at each other like, ‘What is happening? What is the need for this? Why are we paying money to an organization so they can spend their time focusing on this?’” the medical physicist said.
He told Breitbart News the new initiatives are “following through the larger societal wokeness rage,” but that AAPM members themselves do not typically get political. Part of that, at least for persons who do not agree with the political direction of the organization, is because “nobody wants to eliminate themselves from 50 percent of an already small pool of jobs.”
“And so once you get settled with a family in an area, you have to really think about your future and the way society is now with canceling people and tracking down where they work, and how crazy everyone is over this stuff. I think that’s more the fear among people from speaking up,” he concluded.
AAPM did not respond to a request for comment from Breitbart News.
Medical physicists are not the only ones in the medical field seeing these changes. As Breitbart News reported, the Biden administration is offering bonuses to doctors who “create and implement an anti-racism plan.”
Among other things, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging doctors to conduct a “‘a clinic-wide review’ of their practice’s ‘commitment to anti-racism.’ The plan should cover ‘value statements’ and ‘clinical practice guidelines.’” HHS also requires that race be defined as “‘a political and social construct, not a physiological one’—a dichotomy many doctors say will discourage genetic testing and worsen racial health disparities.”
HHS also said of the rule that “it is important to acknowledge systemic racism as a root cause for differences in health outcomes between socially-defined racial groups.”
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.