Jewish Students At Elite Med School Detail Hostile, Pro-Palestinian Learning Environment

Medical students at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center have been engaging in pro-Palestinian demonstrations at work, sparking debate around the ethics of medical professionals proliferating their political views at the workplace, The New York Times reported Monday.

UCSF employees and students in favor of leading pro-Palestinian protests and wearing controversial political symbols in the workplace argue their actions are in line with their medical oath to “do no harm” since they are speaking out against instances in which Israeli airstrikes have hit hospitals. Meanwhile, some Jewish employees at UCSF argue the political demonstrations are inappropriate for a hospital setting, and that their peers violate their oath to “do no harm” by not keeping their personal political views separate from patient care, according to The New York Times.

In making this latter point, Dr. Johnathan Terdiman – a Jewish gastroenterologist at UCSF – referenced a May protest in which medical students and doctors chanted “intifada, intifada, long live intifada!” loudly enough they could be heard by patients in their hospital rooms.

“People are coming here for chemotherapy. They have dire illnesses,” Dr. Terdiman told The New York Times. “When that [intifada] chant goes up and is heard in the patient care rooms, which it clearly was, it’s a violation of our professional obligations as health care providers.”

Dr. Terdiman also lamented the fact his pro-Palestinian peers have often been able to wear political pins despite the UCSF dress code’s prohibition of political symbols in patient care settings.


“I wouldn’t wear an Israeli flag pin in a patient encounter,” Dr. Terdiman said. “Absolutely not.”

Other Jewish doctors at UCSF mentioned a scenario in which physicians rejected the request of some Jewish patients to remove displays of support for the Palestinian people, according to The New York Times.

More still, such as Matthew Smith – a doctoral student at UCSF who wears a skullcap – have reported increased incidents of antisemitism.

Smith reports being told that “Jews control the banks” and that Israel deserved the Oct. 7 attack that killed more than 1,200 people.

The concerns noted by the Jewish doctors at UCSF speak to broader national concerns about the left-wing radicalization of medical schools and hospitals.

Last year the number of medical schools who had dropped the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in order to bolster student diversity rose to 40, according to watchdog group Do No Harm.

Perhaps more concerning, hospitals like Texas Children’s Hospital allegedly continued performing pediatric sex change procedures despite telling the public the program had been shut down.

UCSF’s School of Medicine has an acceptance rate of just 2.8% and is ranked in the top five in research and primary care training, according to U.S. News & World Report.

UCSF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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