Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine
by Damon Tweedy
Picador, 2015 (($26))
As a black doctor, author Tweedy has firsthand knowledge of how, for complicated social, cultural and economic reasons, “being black can be bad for your health.” For instance, African-Americans face an increased risk of problems such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke and an infant mortality rate twice that of whites. Tweedy experiences this sad truth from both sides of the stethoscope and relates his challenges in navigating the predominantly white medical world as a patient and a professional. He remembers, for example, his frustration at his own diagnosis of hypertension and his insecurity and anger the day his professor mistook him for a handyman. Yet Tweedy's unfailing empathy for both his patients and colleagues serves as a model for how increased understanding between doctors and those they serve can help forge a more equitable world.