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Black Man in a White Coat fills an important gap in the conversation about race within medicine.

During his internship at Duke, he encounters a hostile white patient who objects to being treated by “a nigger doctor.” Tweedy nevertheless treats the dying man and eventually wins his respect and gratitude.

Chapters 3 (‘Charity Care’) and 4 (‘Inner-City Blues’) document the socioeconomic challenges of access to health insurance and health education that patients faced during Dr. Tweedy’s time at a rural community health clinic and an inner-city emergency department. was worthy of personal, first-class service’ (150).

Become a subscriber, or find us at your local bookstore, newsstand, or grocer. Describing his experiences as student and doctor in a new memoir, Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine, Tweedy also learned that he had high blood pressure and had already incurred mild kidney damage—two of the most vexing health problems facing blacks. All rights reserved. Black Man in a White Coat reflects qualities that I personally would want in a physician; it is well-researched, engaging, emotionally honest, and introspective. Drawing from other memoirs, history books, public health studies, and various other resources, Tweedy weaves a complex tapestry of information in support of his observations. Tweedy draws from his experiences and his self-reflections and uses this perspective in order to help others be better caregivers. Subscribe Here.

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The white coat is meant to signify professionalism and trust with patients and the ceremony is a time to emphasize this. His book adds an important new voice on the shameful disparities that continue to afflict American medicine.

Come Alive: Live Each Day With Mindfulness, Podcast: Lama Rod Owens, Buddhist teacher and activist, Podcast: Rev. In Chapter 2, ‘Baby Mamas,’ Tweedy explores the complex interactions of health disparities though the stories of black mothers Tweedy met as a second-year medical student. Equally demoralizing were the negative racial attitudes that Tweedy, who grew up in a segregated working-class community in Maryland, recalls and the slights he experienced firsthand—even from the faculty at the august Duke University School of Medicine. In his memoir, Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine, Dr. Damon Tweedy addresses this question through an examination of race and its interactions with medicine at all levels of his medical training. Here, Tweedy ruminates on the idea that his identity as a black man was mitigated by his identity as a physician, as well as the idea that his health might have been affected because of this. Black Man in a White Coat is a commentary on challenges and lessons [Dr. Tweedy has] encountered as a physician of color, offering first-hand truths about the medical issues and racial divides in health care plaguing our community.” ―Ebony In Chapter 8, ‘Matching,’ Tweedy describes his interactions with a black patient for whom it made a difference that he, too, was black. Through their stories, he illustrates the complex social, cultural, and economic factors at the root of most health problems in the black community. 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. Chapters 9 (‘Doing the Right Thing’) and 10 (‘Beyond Race’) talk about counseling patients and making good choices as equitably as possible within the American healthcare system. However, if we are to engage in meaningful dialogue about race and how it impacts medicine, we would be wise to take a page from Dr. Tweedy’s book and reflect. It is notable that Tweedy keeps as levelheaded as one can in retelling very emotionally-charged experiences in this section, perhaps so as to not appear insecure about race (63) or to not disrupt the status quo (147). As Tweedy transforms from student to practicing physician, he discovers how often race influences his encounters with patients. Includes bibliographical references (pages 289-291).

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