(Daily360.com) – A physician’s network has come under fire for a solely race-based hiring program. The network called Vituity, owned entirely by physicians, is offering a program called “Bridge to Brilliance Program” aimed at attracting new doctors. The program comes with a hefty $100,000 bonus but can only be offered to black applicants. Vituity operates throughout the United States and sees roughly 8 million patients per year at their 450 locations.
Vituity is facing a lawsuit over the program. Another physicians group called Do No Harm is suing on the grounds that the race-based policy is exclusionary and breaks federal laws regarding discrimination. Board chair Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of Do No Harm says when it comes to patients, even black patients don’t prioritize a doctor that is “racially coordinate,” but want a doctor who is capable and offers the best medical advice.
Goldfarb calls the “Bridge to Brilliance Program” both “abhorrent” and “illegal.” He says Vituity offering positions not to the most qualified people but to people based on skin color is irresponsible. Vituity rejects this criticism and says they stand behind their decision and say their “Bridge to Brilliance Program” is intended to “bridge the gaps” for what they see as marginalized communities.
Vituity has an in-house diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) team that is spearheading this initiative. They say race-based hiring is necessary and this program “provides aspiring and current health care professionals” with the support they need to “thrive.” Vituity further defended the program by issuing a statement stating their firm belief in the DEI model and the values it promotes. They plan to “vigorously defend” the “Bridge to Brilliance Program.”
Do No Harm says its mission is safeguarding health care from “ideological threats,” and has doctors attached to their lawsuit ready to apply for the program if it were based on merit and not race. Do No Harm has 6,100 members within the medical community spanning 14 countries. They also note that beyond the race-based quotas, the $100,000 bonus is far above Vituity’s typical hiring bonuses.
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