I’ve always asked the question while reading the New England Journal of Medicine, if discussions about climate change, gender identity, equity and inclusion were appropriate topics for this illustrious, medical journal?
My opinion, regardless of whether I agree with the conclusions or not, is that they are appropriate. After all, Doctors are in the “helping heal people” business, and because of their position in society, have AUTHORITY, one of Dr. Cialdini’s 7 principles of influence, of which I spoke about in my lectures in Newport Beach last week.
It’s the use of that AUTHORITY that can make doctors the disseminators of information, the illuminators of risks and teachers of disease prevention. Teacher is what the word “doctor” means.
It was in that vein, after delivering my final talk about how to use the 7 principles of influence to help more people, that I spoke about the meteoric rise of antisemitism since Hamas’ terrorist atrocities which began on October 7.
I spoke of the warning signs that were ignored in pre WW II Europe and even here in the US. The harassment, demonization and attacks on Jews were ignored. Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” was published in 1925. The concentration camp, Dachau was built in 1933, and a Nazi rally was held in Madison Square Garden in early 1939, long before the “Final Solution” in the 40’s, which killed 6 million Jews and 5 million “undesirables” such as Gypsies, Sinti, homosexuals and people with disabilities.
Hate is a disease and is communicable. In WW II, the result was the loss of 70-85 million people, or 3% of the world’s population. But the Jews were the first targets.
Hate, like the worst pandemic, kills. Why wouldn’t that be an appropriate topic for a healthcare venue?
Jews are the “canary in the coal mine”. Hate of any “other” can be too easily be swept under the rug. Shining a light on a pernicious disease such as hate should be every doctor’s obligation.
Since 10-7-23, there have been over 400 documented incidents of antisemitism here in the US, up 400%, many on college campuses. Make no mistake, such hate, if not addressed will metastasize.
Jews, Muslims, Sikhs or any “other” should be proud to wear their garb and identify as part of their chosen subgroup. We’re all first and foremost, Americans and benefit from the freedoms afforded us in our Constitution.
What is playing out in the Middle East is calamitous. The loss of any life should be a source of sorrow for everyone. But hate knows no such boundaries and hence plays on an imbalanced field. When hate combines with rage, we get 9/11 or 10/7.
After 9/11 the motto of “see something, say something” was popular. Today, we, especially doctors, have the obligation of calling out hate when it’s seen. Identify the contagion. Raise your voice because silence today can be even deadlier tomorrow.
“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn was any more.” Isaiah 2:4.
Towards peace in every venue,
P.S. Should you wish to learn more about how to use the principles of influence to help more people in your practice, check this out:
Michael J. Goldberg, DMD, FAGD, FIADFE, FNYAD, FACD, FAAOSH
Chief Strategist Practice Perfect Systems
Cialdini Institute Founding Member
Official Consultant: Spencer Study Club