Video of Medical Students 'Chanting Critical Race Theory Mantra' Goes Viral

A video that shows Columbia University medical students reciting a revised Hippocratic Oath that conservative commentators say contains elements of Critical Race Theory (CRT) has prompted a backlash after going viral.

The footage, shared on Twitter by non-profit Mythinformed MKE and viewed more than 1.2 million times, shows the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Class of 2025 reciting the oath on August 20, 2021, as part of the university's annual White Coat Ceremony.

On its website, Columbia University Irving Medical Center said: "For the first time in the medical school's 254-year history, the incoming MD students recited their own Class Oath, updating the Hippocratic Oath to better reflect the values they wish to uphold as they enter their medical training."

The 140 students, led by Lisa Mellman, a senior associate dean for student affairs and the Samuel Rudin professor of psychiatry, said: "We enter the profession of medicine with the appreciation for the opportunity to build on the scientific and humanistic achievements of the past.

"We also recognize the acts and systems of oppression effected in the name of medicine. We take this oath of service to begin building a future grounded in truth, restoration and equity, to fulfill medicine's capacity to liberate."

"I acknowledge the past and present failures of medicine to abide by its obligation to do no harm and affirm the need to address the systemic issues in the institutions I uphold.

"I promise to critically examine the systems and experiences that impact every person's health and ability to receive care. I vow to use this knowledge to uplift my patients and disrupt the injustices that harm them as I forge the future of medicine.

"I promise to self-reflect diligently, to confront unconscious prejudices, and develop the skills, knowledge and character necessary to engender an inclusive equitable field of medicine. Let us bow our heads in recognition of the gravity of this oath, we swear to faithfully engage with these ideals and obligations for the ongoing betterment of medicine and humanity."

Mellman then congratulates the Class of 2025 to rapturous applause.

Newsweek has contacted Columbia University medical school several times for comment, but has not heard back.

Several conservative figures reacted to the video on Twitter. In its tweet, Mythinformed MKE said: "When did medicine start sounding like a cult? The Columbia Medical School has altered its hippocratic oath to include pledges of fealty to Neo-Marxist and woke ideology."

Medical students stock image
A stock image of medical students. Medical students in a video at the Columbia University in New York have been accused of taking inspiration from Critical Race Theory in their revised Hippocratic Oath. Stock/Getty

City Journal writer Christopher F. Rufo tweeted: "Columbia University medical students chant the mantra of critical race theory. This is the DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion] cult in the wild."

Brian Kilmeade, a Fox & Friends anchor, tweeted: "CREEPY: Columbia University medical students chant critical race theory mantras as if they are under hypnosis..."

Eric Burnett, M.D. replied to Kilmeade, writing: "You've likely never faced discrimination in the healthcare system before. As a rich white man you've never had to think about why medical students need to be educated on systemic issues that negatively impact vulnerable and marginalized patients. Grow up."

CRT is an academic concept based on the idea that race is a social construct at its core. It says that racial bias is inherent in many parts of western society, including in legal and social institutions, which have been main designed and implemented by white people.

The teaching of CRT has been banned in several Republican states, including Florida, where Conservative lawmakers described it as "the theory that racism is not merely the product of prejudice, but that racism is embedded in American society and its legal systems in order to uphold the supremacy of white persons."