Black Man in A White Coat
A Doctor's Reflections on Race and MedicineBook - 2015
"When Damon Tweedy first enters the halls of Duke University Medical School on a full scholarship, he envisions a bright future where his segregated, working class background will become largely irrelevant. Instead, he finds that he has joined a new world where race is front and center. When one of his first professors mistakes him for a maintenance worker, it is a moment that crystallizes the challenges he will face throughout his early career. Making matters worse, in lecture after lecture the common refrain for numerous diseases resounds, "More common in blacks than whites." In riveting, honest prose, Black Man in a White Coat examines the complex ways in which both black doctors and patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine. As Tweedy transforms from student to practicing physician, he discovers how often race influences his encounters with patients. Through their stories, he illustrates the complex social, cultural, and economic factors at the root of most health problems in the black community. These elements take on greater meaning when Tweedy finds himself diagnosed with a chronic disease far more common among black people. In this powerful, moving, and compassionate book, Tweedy deftly explores the challenges confronting black doctors, and the disproportionate health burdens faced by black patients, ultimately seeking a way forward to better treatment and more compassionate care.- For readers of Atul Gawande, Sandeep Jauhar, Pauline W. Chen, and Henrietta Lacks"-- Provided by publisher.
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The son of a working class African-American family from Maryland, in 1996 Damon Tweedy accepted a scholarship to Duke University Medical School. As he began learning about various diseases and conditions, he was soon bombarded by a familiar refrain: “more common in blacks than in whites.” Tweedy initially assumed these problems were genetic vulnerabilities, but his experiences soon led him to realize that social and economic factors were, in most cases, much more significant, and in turn these factors play out “along racial lines.” Initially intent on avoiding drawing any attention to his race, Tweedy instead becomes interested in reducing these disparities.
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