Med School Compared To 12 Years A Slave In College Fundraising Poster

Illustration for article titled Med School Compared To 12 Years A Slave In College Fundraising Poster

Ill-conceived "12 Years A Slave" parodies are to be expected, but to see this from Detroit's Wayne State University is a surprise. Maybe it's time for some all-hands-on-deck meetings considering the demographic changes at the school and the neighborhood it occupies.


A Jalopnik Detroit tipster sends us this photo of this "12 Years" spoof used for a March 8 charity event held by the Wayne State School of Medicine Aesculapians Honor Society. The annual event, held at St. Andrews Hall, was an Oscars-themed "Lampoon night" where proceeds from the event went to a Detroit charity. (OSCE in the poster = Observed Standardized Clinical Examination.)

Posters for the event spoofed a number of movies from this year's awards season, but some students took offense to comparing medical residency to slavery. "The poster was removed after a few students complained but many others defended it saying it was a joke and people should not be so sensitive," our tipster writes. "I am embarrassed that these highly educated leaders in the community do not understand why this was inappropriate."

Phil Van Hulle, a public information officer for WSU's school of medicine, says his office and other school administrators learned of the poster shortly after it was taken down. It was posted in the school cafeteria by an individual student — students make their own posters for their event, but do not need prior approval before posting them — and taken down "within four hours" by the president of the honor society, a fourth-year med student who left his hospital shift to remove it after students began texting each other photos of the poster.

The next day, the society's president emailed the student body apologizing for the poster. The student who posted the photo was not disciplined.

"The poster was inappropriate," Van Hulle says.

Original poster via Fox Searchlight