Medical Matters: "Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine"

Sep 30, 2015

For Episode # 3 of 4 in our current series of Medical Matters shows, we feature an in-depth discussion with Dr. Damon Tweedy, an African American psychiatrist at Duke University. Dr. Tweedy is also the author of a new memoir, "Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine," which -- per a starred review in Booklist -- "expertly weaves together statistics, personal anecdotes, and patient stories to explain why 'being black can be bad for your health.'" As was noted of this book by Sarah Lyall in The New York Times: "On one level the book is a straightforward memoir; on another it's [Dr. Tweedy's] thoughtful, painfully honest, multi-angled, constant self-interrogation about himself and about the health implications of being black." And further, as was noted by USA Today: "Fascinating.... What sets this book in motion is Tweedy's dogged quest to understand how his personal experience relates to the staggering issue of health care inequality. In the process, he shines a light on disparities than can be hard to fathom.... An engaging, introspective memoir that will force readers to contemplate the uncomfortable reality that race impacts every aspect of life, even medicine.... A timely, thought-provoking examination of our heartbreaking health care system."

Also on our show, Gary Schwitzer, the founder and editor of, joins us for a consideration of recent happenings in medical journalism. And commentator Janet Pearson offers a piece on preventing hospital re-admissions.