Fervent Catholic conservatives make for very bad doctors

A few medical students in Duluth are very unhappy with what they’re being taught.

My days were filled with so many lectures and guidelines that I knew were not right or ordered at all and they were most definitely against our beliefs as Catholics, wrote Emma Pero, the first president of the group, in an essay on the site.

How do you know they’re not right or ordered? You’re a student. You’re there to learn. Duluth is a good school, it’s not a Bible college, I’m pretty sure they’re not telling you what to believe, they’re teaching practices that have been empirically demonstrated to be beneficial. Of course we know how she knows they’re wrong, the hint is right their in the quote: she’s Catholic, and a far right conservative Catholic at that.

So what were they teaching her that was not right? That’s pretty clear, too.

A Catholic group for students at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth that opposes gender-affirming care is fracturing the small, rural-focused program.

The student section of the Catholic Medical Association, which also includes students enrolled in the U’s Duluth campus College of Pharmacy, formed in 2021. It aligns with Catholic beliefs that largely oppose gender-affirming care for minors, which includes medications to suppress puberty and hormones for older teens, as well as contraception and abortion, according to its website.

The group is called St. Raphael’s Guild, and these students are heeding the words of old men in funny hats rather than the words of the experienced medical professionals who are their actual professors. They plan to graduate with medical degrees and then scatter to small medical practices across the rural Midwest, where, in addition to refusing to administer health care to trans teens, they will oppose birth control and abortion. They are the worst.

The Duluth medical school is also clear on what students should learn. This is cautiously sensible.

The school teaches its students to care for patients of all backgrounds, he said, and its approach to controversial topics is to teach them to transfer patients to another provider if they must, but to always ensure the patient receives care.

“Our hope is that message gets carried on and that students take that to heart and put it into practice,” Diebel said.

To second-year medical student Jamey Sharp, it appears the group is “working against best practices” that students are taught regarding LGBTQ care, and it makes class uncomfortable, he said.

“It’s really important for trans folks, queer folks, women, to feel comfortable working in this field and feeling like they would be safe and free of discrimination throughout the educational process,” he said.

The St Raphael’s Guild students strongly disagree. They bring in fanatical Catholic weirdos with dubious credentials who explicitly argue against the best practices taught by the school.

In 2022, members of the student group gathered in a conference room to watch a virtual lecture held by the guild. It featured Dr. Quentin Van Meter, a controversial Atlanta-based pediatric endocrinologist who in 2020 was discredited by a Texas court as an expert on puberty blockers and gender-affirming care.

He is the former president of the American College of Pediatricians, a group declared to be a hate organization by the civil rights nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center.

During the lecture, he called the Southern Poverty Law Center a hate group and told the room full of students that professional medical societies, most of which support gender care, don’t represent science.

He argued against using preferred pronouns with patients.

This is just acquiescing to nonsense and pathology and plays into their delusional thoughts, he said in a recording of the lecture.

He advised avoiding referring minors to transgender care centers, calling them a conveyor belt to hell. Affirming a child’s chosen gender can worsen mental health, he told the students, who should refer minors instead to mental health providers.

Gosh. “acquiescing to nonsense and pathology and plays into their delusional thoughts” sounds like an apt description of Catholic zealotry.

I’ve always thought of the University of Minnesota Duluth to be an excellent branch of the system I’m in, with both a well-regarded medical school and pharmacy school. We send graduates of my university there every year. I guess I still have to be wary of some of the doctors that come out of there.


  1. Matt G says

    If your first question is “is it consistent with doctrine” instead of “is it supported by evidence,” you’re doing it wrong.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    For ‘the red witch’ the occasional human sacrifice was consistent with doctrine, but as she literally brought a guy back from death I am willing to give her more leeway than med students.

  3. garnetstar says

    Well, you know what? No one’s holding guns to their heads (I hope): they are absolutely free to drop out.

    That’s what the administration should say to them. If they continue to whine or agitate, the administration should invite them to leave and go do something more suited to their talents, like enter a monastery.

  4. kome says

    Kick them out of the med school. This isn’t difficult. If someone refuses to learn your curriculum, they don’t belong in your school. They’ve formed their own echo chamber now, so there is zero chance that the faculty will be able to teach them to not be scumbags. They need to be expelled. The med school doesn’t just have a duty to their students, but to the patients their students will eventually be asked to treat. These people do not deserve to be physicians.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    BTW there is a job market for them in the dumbfuck states that put ideology before health, like with the HP vaccine.

  6. raven says

    He is the former president of the American College of Pediatricians, a group declared to be a hate organization by the civil rights nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center.

    Got that right.

    The American College of Pediatricians is a small group of xian haters.
    Wikipedia: ACPeds promotes conversion therapy and purity culture. As of 2022, its membership has been reported at about 700 physicians.

    The real medical group for pediatricians is the American Academy of Pediatricians.
    “The AAP has approximately 67,000 members in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and many other countries. Members include pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists.Aug 7, 2023”

    The fundie xian ACP has 700 members versus the mainstream AAP with 67,000 members. Your chances of running into them by accident aren’t all that high, thank Cthulhu.

  7. Bruce Fuentes says

    My wife, a graduate of UMD/U of MN medical schools and a doc in Duluth, specializes in primary care of marginalized people. The LGBTQ+ community is a large part of that group. These Med students need to decide if they want to practice evidence-based medicine or proselytize. If they want to proselytize they should enter seminary.

  8. says

    Has anyone tried suing such bigots for malpractice when their “conscience” gets in the way of proper treatment? It’s gonna have to happen sometime…

  9. raven says

    The former head of the ACP, Dr. Quentin Van Meter, is a vicious hater and medical quack. He isn’t quite an antivaxxer but he is close. He opposes Covid-19 virus vaccine for children. His reasons include the usual antivaxxer lies.

    ACP press release 2021
    Quentin L. Van Meter, MD, FCP, President

    .1. At this time, the benefits of vaccinating children against COVID-19 are limited since their infections are mostly mild or asymptomatic, with benefits of vaccines increasing with age.
    Lie Some children can get very sick with among other symptoms, MIS, multisystem inflammatory syndrome or just die. Children are also a major vector spreading the virus to their parents and older people, who can also get very sick or die.

    .2. There are no long-term safety data,…
    Cthulhu, this a stupid lie.
    We’ve now given many billions of these vaccines and have a huge database for multiple years. This is just a lie.

    .3. “while autoimmune sequelae are a real possibility and myocarditis is a known complication. Therefore, ACPeds believes that parents should be allowed to choose whether or not to use the current COVID vaccines for their children. ”

    What a liar.The myocarditis from the mRNA vaccines is very rare, mild, and usually resolves quickly.
    What actually wrecks your heart is the Covid-19 virus which is both cardiotropic and cardiotoxic.
    “In a study published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 0.133% of children with COVID-19 were diagnosed with myocarditis, whereas nearly 0.0033% of children without COVID-19 were diagnosed with myocarditis [21].”

    .4. Some parents may object on moral grounds because abortion-dependent technology was used in the development of the current vaccines.
    Lie The mRNA and Novavax vaccines have nothing to do with abortion-dependent technology, whatever that is.
    He is just making up stuff here.

    ” ACPeds, therefore, objects to mandates for COVID-19 vaccination of children and adolescents at this time.”
    This guy is a medical quack.

  10. birgerjohansson says

    I suppose we could set up a parallel structure with “faith-based medicine”. To imagine what that would be like, watch the South Park episode where Miss Information nearly gets one of the kids killed.

    Wait, we already tried that at a large scale when COVID was at its peak. “I have faith in ivermectin and Tucker Carlson “.

  11. raven says

    Has anyone tried suing such bigots for malpractice when their “conscience” gets in the way of proper treatment?

    The main problem so far is from fundie xian pharmacists who decide to play god and doctor and refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control pills, Plan B, and whatever drugs they don’t like.

    They often get fired for not doing their jobs.
    These days, a lot of states have passed so called conscience laws making that hard to do.
    So they get transferred to jobs that don’t involve dealing with patients.

    It’s not clear from the OP how many of these haters in training are also medical students.
    There is a pharmacy school there and many of them may well be growing up to be pharmacists who refuse to do their jobs and insult the customers.

  12. raven says

    Aug. 5, 2022, 2:10 PM PDT / Updated Aug. 5, 2022, 3:29 PM PDT
    By Corky Siemaszko

    A Minnesota jury ruled Friday that a pharmacist who refused to fill a prescription for a morning-after pill because of his “beliefs” did not violate a woman’s civil rights under state law but inflicted emotional harm and said she should be entitled to $25,000 in damages.

    Fundie xians never miss a chance to demonstrate their hate.

  13. Reginald Selkirk says

    Marina the Monk

    Marina, distinguished as Marina the Monk and also known as Marinos, Pelagia and Mary of Alexandria (Coptic: Ϯⲁⲅⲓⲁ Ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲛⲁ ⲛ̅ⲁⲥⲕⲏⲧⲏⲥ), was a Christian saint from part of Asian Byzantium, generally said to be Lebanon.[8] Details of the saint’s life vary…

    Marina (in some Western traditions, or Mary[9] or Mariam in other manuscript traditions) was the child of wealthy Christian parents. Her mother died when Marina was very young, so Marina was raised as a devout Christian by her father Eugenius. As Marina approached marriageable age, her father intended to find his child a husband and then retire to the Monastery of Qannoubine in the Kadisha Valley of Lebanon. When Marina learned of his plan, she asked why he intended to save his own soul “and destroy mine.” When asked by her father, “What shall I do with you? You are a woman”, Marina answered that she would live as a monk with him: she then shaved her head and changed into men’s clothes. Eugenius, seeing his child’s strong determination, gave all his possessions to the poor and travelled with Marina to the Kadisha Valley to live in monastic community life, where they shared a cell. She took the name Marinos. The other monks attributed her soft voice to long periods of prayer, or else believed their new brother was a male eunuch.[6][8][11][12] …

    Marina has been called a patron saint of transgender people, and transgender parenting by LGBT Christians, and her popularity is rising along with the visibility of transgender rights.[18]…

  14. raven says

    CVS Fired A Pharmacist Who Refused To Fill A …

    BuzzFeed News
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com › salvadorhernandez
    Jul 20, 2018 — CVS has fired an Arizona pharmacist after he refused to fill a transgender woman’s prescription for hormone medication, the company announced …

    Trans Man Says Walgreens Pharmacist Refused to Fill …

    Metro Weekly
    https://www.metroweekly.com › 2023/06 › trans-man-…
    Jun 23, 2023 — A transgender man claims that a Walgreens pharmacist refused to hand over his hormone medication due to his “religious beliefs.”

    You have to be careful not to be forced to deal with fundie xians.
    Where you find hate, you also find violence and intent to do you whatever harm they can.

  15. wzrd1 says

    kome @ 4, that’s literally what it took to get germ theory accepted by physicians in the US.
    Hopefully, they’ll nip this in the bud – before these assholes bring back bloodletting for infections. Especially, given medical boards have defaulted on shredding quacks licenses for the most part. Pity, making a few examples by state boards would do wonders for compliance – get a big medical school bill to pay and be refused a medical license does tend to compel compliance with best practices.
    And I’ll never, ever forgive one Catholic hospital that wanted to let my wife die from an ectopic pregnancy, rather than abort the errant pregnancy.

    birgerjohansson @ 5, I’m all for relying upon spirits for prevention, although acetone is a bit more effective in sterilizing skin. ;)

    Bruce Fuentes @ 8, as far as I’m concerned, if they want to proselytize, they should enter a wood chipper first. Physicians are in an office for a singular purpose, preaching religion is not that purpose. Otherwise, let faith guide them, after all Daniel passed the lion’s teeth, they can pass the blades without harm, amiright?

    Raging Bee @ 9, yep, the first amendment tends to protect them to allow them to harm. The courts forgetting, one has the freedom to swing their fists as much as they want, but that right to swing a fist ceases at the end of another’s nose.

  16. wzrd1 says

    Oh, for the record, I was raised in the Roman Catholic faith. I even wanted to be an altar boy as a kid, Dad reacted poorly to that idea, as it was not spoken of, but well known what priests were doing even back in the age of ice.

  17. birgerjohansson says

    Raven @ 10
    Considering how the religious kooks lie about the numbers of late-stage abortions, none of this should be surprising.
    Depressing, yes, but not surprising.

    I come from a place where the religious and non-religious get along fine, because the religious accepted “medicine” as a gift from god and nothing to freak out about.
    -Sometimes, there were advantages to having a State Church; the establishment did not like the clergy to get all speaking-in-tongues snake-handling weird.

  18. says

    This is funny (not the ha-ha kind). The University of Minnesota Medical School on the Twin Cities campus and Duluth campus are teaching in lock step (basically a merged curriculum) based on accreditation requirements now. So I guess this group is taking on all Minnesota medical curricula and by default national standards as well.

  19. robro says

    Seems appropriate for here, because it’s obvious the biggest religion driving medicine in the US is…profit. God be damned, the almighty dollar rules. From ProPublica: Philips Kept Complaints About Dangerous Breathing Machines Secret While Company Profits Soared.

    Philips made millions while their machines were busily pumping toxins and contaminants into people’s lungs even though they were receiving reports of problems practically from the beginning. What’s more, they hid the reports from the FDA and other government regulators. A fairly clear sign that they knew they were causing harm while making money.

  20. wzrd1 says

    robro @ 20, I was supposed to get one of those machines. Glad that I didn’t.
    As far as I’m concerned, all those involved in brushing that under the rug deserve to be broken upon the wheel, the company disbanded and all monies recovered, distributed to their victims – both recovered from the company and from the officers estates involved, with the same allowance for their families that they allowed for their victims families.
    And Congress limits what the government can fine, so they instead essentially remain heavily rewarded.
    Where is the Committee for Public Safety when you need them and their national razor?
    I’ll keep my apnea, thank you.

  21. says

    Raging Bee @ 9, yep, the first amendment tends to protect them to allow them to harm.

    Actually, it’s never tended to do any such thing, until lying bigots recently started calling whatever they wanted to do “speech,” and whatever they didn’t want to do “forced speech.”

  22. wzrd1 says

    Raging Bee @ 22, it’s worse than that. Their freedom of religion suborning the freedom of religion of others and far, far too often protected by the courts.
    All, while the intent was to create a great wall to act as a barrier against that very thing.

    WMDKitty — Survivor @ 23, unlikely. Schools these days are run by Count de Monet, aka “count da money”, to liberally steal a joke from Mel Brooks. Boot them out, lose the money, so schools coddle them instead.
    The schools shouldn’t, but far too many do. That eventually results in a poisoned well, but by then, they’ve retired and don’t have to care about the ensuing havoc, wrack and ruin.

  23. says

    plays into their delusional thoughts

    This is why I’m terrified about meeting a new doctor. I go in wondering if they are going to say “I heard on Fox News that trans people commit suicide, so I’m going to accuse every trans patient of ‘expressing active suicidal ideation’ even if they didn’t.” I make audio recordings of my first appointment with each new medical doctor as a precaution in case they turn out to be terrible.

  24. chrislawson says


    I am sorry to hear the lengths you have to go to for self-protection in a system that is meant to help people. I’m sure you’ve already looked, but if there’s a clinic in your area that specialises in LGBT+ health, that’s probably a good bet (not always; in Australia we have an anti-affirmation gender clinic in one of our large public hospitals). You might also be able to access online support groups who can direct you to safer care in your area, or asking other trans people you know.

    Unfortunately, suicidal ideation is much more common in trans than cis people. The bigots use this to pathologise transgender people as having a mental illness rather than acknowledge the devastating effects of abuse and discrimination. It’s really just a new take on drapetomania.

  25. brightmoon says

    My ex’s grandfather died mainly because the Catholic hospital he was sent to didnt revive people once their hearts stopped. I got the impression that this was SOP for Catholic hospitals. People in that NYC neighborhood would beg ambulance drivers not to go there! That was during the 70s.

  26. wzrd1 says

    brightmoon @ 27, funny thing, that. At one point, resuscitation was a no-no for Catholic hospitals. Then, it became mandatory and they didn’t want to respect DNR/DNI orders.
    Oddly, whatever bleeds a patient’s estate dry more seems to be the way they tend to flow.

  27. NitricAcid says

    I’m almost surprised Catholic hospitals haven’t started putting a clause in their admission forms saying that by consenting to treatment, you void all previous wills and testaments and leave everything to the church.