Tuesday, August 4, 2015

#REVIEW and #GIVEAWAY: Black Man In a White Coat by Damon Tweedy

Title: Black Man in a White Coat
Series: none
Author:  Damon Tweedy
Published Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Picador
Format: ebook
Pages: 320
ISBN:  9781250044648
Genre: autobiography, racial issues
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: One doctor's passionate and profound memoir of his experience grappling with race, bias, and the unique health problems of black Americans

When Damon Tweedy begins medical school, 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. The recipient of a scholarship designed to increase black student enrollment, Tweedy soon meets a professor who bluntly questions whether he belongs in medical school, a moment that crystallizes the challenges he will face throughout his career. Making matters worse, in lecture after lecture the common refrain for numerous diseases resounds, "More common in blacks than in whites."

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 many health problems in the black community. These issues take on greater meaning when Tweedy is himself diagnosed with a chronic disease far more common among black people. In this powerful, moving, and deeply empathic book, Tweedy 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.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Race has become a huge issue over the past year. After the church shootings at the AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, some of the women of our church decided to get together and read. Each of us would read a different book on the subject of race and report back in a month. It would open a discussion for us on the different aspects of racism in our society, and how we can effectively combat it. Having my career in the medical field, it was a blessing to find this book on Netgalley.
Reading this book truly opened my eyes to see how our society has molded, not only whites’ vision of blacks in a professional field, but blacks’ vision as well. It was refreshing to read that the author not only experienced racism of whites against him, automatically assuming he was a janitor instead of a medical student for instance, but also blacks against their own race, like when the black patient didn’t feel he would get the highest level of care from a black doctor versus a white one. The author also shows how affirmative action has not only helped the black people get better educations and better careers, but it has also set them up for failure unless they work twice as hard due to them not having the same high level of education (Ivy league schools versus state colleges). This book was very easy to read, the author has a very conversational style of writing which makes it enjoyable, though it can be a difficult subject to read about.  

There is a giveaway on Goodreads right now in case this book has sparked your interest. It can be found here.

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