The message delivered by “Power Shift,” the April 14th cover story in the Chronicle of Higher Education, could not have been clearer: “What’s considered appropriate for a college professor to say and do in a classroom has changed dramatically….student deference to their teachers is not nearly as strong as it once was” (p. 16).
Nowhere is this transformation more evident than at Cornell Medical School in New York City. After three months of raucous student protests, Interim Dean Francis Lee announced on Thursday that the school’s curriculum would no longer address the sexually transmitted disease (STD) of chlamydia.
According to Lee, “chlamydia is a trauma trigger for most of our students. Many of them contracted it in middle school, while others have lost family and friends to this affliction. Under these circumstances, forcing students to actually STUDY chlamydia is just cruel. It adds insult to injury. How did medical schools ever think this was a good idea?
“In the coming months our training focus will transition from panic-inducing STDs toward the soothing amniotic fluid of holistic wellness. We will offer new courses on hummus-based healing, colon cleansing, and herbal shampoos that prevent COVID. This initiative will be overseen by Dr. Gwyneth Paltrow, our incoming Director of Mindful Medicine.
“Our commitment to trauma-free learning will be underscored by a name change: Beginning September 1st, 2023, we will be known as the Ornell Medical School. Students will no longer have to encounter the dreaded chlamydia ‘C’ — what psychotherapists call the ‘consonant of suffering’ — every time they contemplate our institution. I must say, it’s about time.”