Online Book Discussions

Announcing: Community Discussions in Social Justice: Black Man in a White Coat

Cover of Book: Black Man in a White Coat

The Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics and the Briscoe Library have chosen Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy, MD, JD as the basis for a Community Discussions in Social Justice Project. Dr. Tweedy will present the Frank Bryant Jr, MD Memorial Lecture in Medical Ethics on April 19, 2016 at 12 noon in the Holly Auditorium at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, followed by a reception and book-signing at 1:00 pm.

The Library will support book discussion groups and community dialogue leading up to Dr. Tweedy’s visit to campus. For more information, visit the Community Discussions in Social Justice website.

Community Discussions in Social Justice is a project of The Libraries and the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics. This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

Community Discussions in Social Justice 2016: Black Man in a White Coat

“On one level the book is a straightforward memoir; on another it’s a thoughtful, painfully honest, multi-angled, constant self-interrogation about himself and about the health implications of being black…”                                                                                                                                         A Doctor Navigates Bruising Terrain

Cover of Book: Black Man in a White Coat

The Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics and the Libraries of the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio have chosen Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy, MD, JD as the basis for a Community Discussions in Social Justice program.

Read the Book

Join the Conversation

Hear the Author

Damon Tweedy, MD, JD serves as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and as a staff physician at the Durham VA Medical Center. Following his completion of a medical degree at Duke University School of Medicine, as well as an internship and psychiatry residency at Duke Hospital, Dr. Tweedy earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School. He has published articles about the relationship between medicine and race in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Annals of Internal Medicine. His columns and op-ed writings have also appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Raleigh News & Observer.

In Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine, Dr. Tweedy examines the intersection of race and medicine. First, this memoir details his personal experiences as an African American male from a working-class family while attending Duke University Medical School. Second, he explores the cultural and socioeconomic causes of health disparities, especially in diseases that disproportionately affect African American patients. He also examines the three layers that contribute to these health challenges, namely, institutional systems, physician-patient relationships, and individual choices. Through it all, the author hopes to inspire others from similar backgrounds to believe that they can likewise achieve their goals.

Dr. Damon Tweedy will deliver the Frank Bryant Jr, MD Memorial Lecture in Medical Ethics on April 19, 2016 at 12 noon in the Holly Auditorium, followed by a reception and book-signing. To register for this free event, visit http://www.texashumanities.org/.

For more information on Community Discussions in Social Justice, contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at finnie@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2406.

Community Discussions in Social Justice is a project of The Libraries and the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics. This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

Community Discussions in Social Justice 2016: Black Man in a White Coat: Hear the Author

About the Author

Photograph of Damon Tweedy, MD, JD

Damon Tweedy, MD, JD serves as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and as a staff physician at the Durham VA Medical Center. Following his completion of a medical degree at Duke University School of Medicine, as well as an internship and psychiatry residency at Duke Hospital, Dr. Tweedy earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School. He has published articles about the relationship between medicine and race in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Annals of Internal Medicine. His columns and op-ed writings have also appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Raleigh News & Observer.

In Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine, Dr. Tweedy examines the intersection of race and medicine. First, this memoir details his personal experiences as an African American male from a working-class family while attending Duke University Medical School. Second, he explores the cultural and socioeconomic causes of health disparities, especially in diseases that disproportionately affect African American patients. He also examines the three layers that contribute to these health challenges, namely, institutional systems, physician-patient relationships, and individual choices. Through it all, the author hopes to inspire others from similar backgrounds to believe that they can likewise achieve their goals.

Hear the Author

Dr. Damon Tweedy will present the Frank Bryant Jr., M.D., Memorial Lecture in Medical Ethics in the Holly Auditorium on the Long Campus of the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio at 12 Noon on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. A reception and book signing will follow at 1:00 pm. Copies of Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine will be available for purchase at the event through the UT Health Science Center San Antonio Bookstore.

View the NOWCast SA Recording of Dr. Damon Tweedy’s presentation at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio on April 19, 2016.

For more information on Community Discussions in Social Justice, contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at finnie@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2406.

Community Discussions in Social Justice is a project of The Libraries and the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics. This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

Community Discussions in Social Justice 2016: Black Man in a White Coat: Join the Conversation

Conversation is the heart of Community Discussions in Social Justice. The Briscoe Library will offer two workshops on March 29, 2016 in the Howe Conference Room to support discussion group leaders and to encourage dialogue about the book. To facilitate attendance, these events will be held at both 12 Noon and at 5:30 PM. They are open to faculty, staff, and students of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, as well as members of the broader community, who are interested in planning a book discussion opportunity.

Book discussions will be held throughout April, leading up to Dr. Damon Tweedy’s visit to campus on April 19, 2016. Details about book discussion groups can be posted to this page by submitting the Discussion Group Registration form. Please be sure to print out a Discussion Group Sign-In Sheet and e-mail the completed form to Lisa Matye Finnie. These sign-in sheets are an important part of the evaluation and reporting process for Community Discussions in Social Justice. In addition, A Reader’s Guide with suggested questions for discussion is available to help get the conversation going!

Resources for Discussion Group Leaders

Facilitator and Host Training Workshop

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
12:00 Noon – 1:00 pm
Briscoe Library – UT Health Science Center San Antonio
Howe Conference Room (5th Floor)
Register Online

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Briscoe Library – UT Health Science Center San Antonio
Howe Conference Room (5th Floor)
Register Online

Book Discussion Groups

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
12:00 Noon – 1:00 pm
Briscoe Library – UT Health Science Center San Antonio
Howe Conference Room (5th Floor)
Register Online or RSVP to Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
12:00 Noon – 1:00 pm
Briscoe Library – UT Health Science Center San Antonio
Collaboratory LIB 4.074 (4th Floor)
Register Online or RSVP to Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian

For more information on Community Discussions in Social Justice, contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at finnie@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2406.

Community Discussions in Social Justice is a project of The Libraries and the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics. This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

Community Discussions in Social Justice 2016: Black Man in a White Coat: The Book

To Read the Community Discussions in Social Justice Book Selection Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy, MD, JD:

For more information on Community Discussions in Social Justice, contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at finnie@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2406.

Community Discussions in Social Justice is a project of The Libraries and the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics. This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

Hear Dr. Louise Aronson speak about the One Community One Book selection for Fall 2013

A History of the Present Illness

A History of the Present Illness is the One Community One Book selection for 2013.

The Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics and The Libraries are pleased to announce that Louise Aronson, physician-writer, geriatrician and author of A History of the Present Illness, a collection of stories, has accepted an invitation to speak at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio on Thursday, November 14, 2013, as part of a One Community/One Book project.

Dr. Aronson will be in town to give the keynote presentation and lead a workshop at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Texas Chapter of the American College of Physicians.

You can hear Dr. Aronson speak about her book here.

From Kirkus Review:

“This collection of short stories… take place in and around a San Francisco hospital. But the stories are less concerned with medical details than with the inner lives of the characters and the psychological toll that health issues take on caregivers, patients and their families.”

Copies of A History of the Present Illness are available in the Briscoe Library, at the Ramirez Library in Harlingen, and in the Laredo Regional Campus Library.  Click here to link to the full catalog record.

Copies will also be available in San Antonio at the UT Health Science Center Bookstore for $18, 25% off the retail price.

We are excited about this One Community One Book selection and hope you will consider adding A History of the Present Illness to your summer reading list.

One Community/One Book is made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Johns Hopkins remembers Henrietta Lacks

Yesterday marked the 59th anniversary of Henrietta Lacks’ death.  This past Saturday, October 2, the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research sponsored the First Annual Henrietta Lacks Memorial Lecture, which featured Rebecca Skloot as the speaker, and members of the Lacks family as honored guests.  Writer and JHU nursing student Meg Adams offers some insightful observations about the event in this blog post:

More than anything else, the story of the Lacks family and their drawn-out ordeal is illustrative of the necessity for better communication between the general public and the scientific community. There is a huge need for “science translators,” advocates to bridge the gap between research, and everyone else—the public that research is intended to benefit. In Baltimore, white researchers need to be taught why their patients are wary and mistrustful of them. “I have been having patients refuse to be in studies for years, because they thought we would inject them with AIDS,” one researcher said. “I thought it was this crazy conspiracy theory thing. Now, [after reading Skloot’s book], I understand [why there is mistrust].” …

As part of this morning’s lecture, Mr. James Potter gave a presentation on the human cell. His projected slides zoomed in on the human body, magnitude by magnitude, until we could see the tiny building blocks we are made of, cells. Walking out of the lecture hours later, though, I couldn’t help but think that the most important lesson that day was not to zoom in, but to zoom out. Sixty years ago, Hopkins failed to sit down and explain the HeLa cells, or their significance, to the Lacks family. But what Rebecca Skloot did with her book was equally important: she sat the scientific community down and had them zoom out, magnitude by magnitude, until the microscopic HeLa cells that have made up so many scientists’ worlds for so long were shown for what they really were—a person, Mrs. Henrietta Lacks.

It is clear that wider exploration of the story of Henrietta Lacks and her family has led to a great deal 0f reflection and soul-searching at Johns Hopkins — the kind of reflection that would be beneficial for more of us to engage in.  In two recent pieces, key thinkers at Johns Hopkins discuss the lessons of HeLa and the Lacks Family’s ordeal:

For some additional context on the history of Johns Hopkins’ relationship with the Baltimore community, see Chapter 21 (“Night Doctors”) in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. If you were on the faculty or administration of JHU, how would you want the institution to address this chapter in its history?  Does that have any implications for your work and research at your own institution?

One Community/One Book 2012 selection tells stories of migrant life in South Texas

Photograph of author Elva Trevino HartThe UT Health Science Center Libraries’ popular One Community/One Book program will continue in the months ahead with reading and discussion of Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child, by Elva Treviño HartThe Libraries are pleased to announce that One Community/One Book 2012 recently received the support of Humanities Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities in the form of a community projects grant award.

The Health Science Center’s 4th One Community/One Book selection is a book with deep roots in South Texas. Author Elva Treviño Hart tells stories of growing up in Pearsall, Texas as the youngest child in a family of migrant farm workers who traveled north to Minnesota and Wisconsin over several summers in the 1950s to work in the beet fields.   The book details her family’s struggle to make a living and to overcome prejudice and poverty through education.  She also explores her family’s roots in Mexico, and the historical events that carried her father and his family north to Texas and beyond.  Barefoot Heart encourages reflection on a number of themes including the importance of family and community, education as a way out of poverty, cultural diversity in our own South Texas communities, and the promotion of cultural competence and empathy as we train tomorrow’s health care professionals.

Plans for One Community/One Book include workshops for discussion group leaders, book discussion groups, and several speaking engagements for the author from February 23-25, 2012.   Ms. Hart will speak on campus Friday, February 24 at 12:00 noon.  She will also speak on Saturday, February 25  at the Spring Conference of the Voelcker Biosciences Teacher Academy.  Copies of the book are available through the library, and the bookstore is selling Barefoot Heart at a 25% discount.

A book signing will follow Ms. Hart’s talk on February 24.

One Community/One Book 2012 is a collaborative effort between The Libraries, the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, the Academic Center for Excellence in Teaching (ACET), and the San Antonio Public Library.  It is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For information about One Community/One Book, contact Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian: Call 567-2406 or email Hunnicutt@uthscsa.edu.

Download a printable flyer for One Community/One Book

More information will be available soon. Watch this space for more.

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Randy Christensen, MD: Ask Me Why I Hurt

Portrait of Randy Christensen MDRandy Christensen, MD MPH, author of Ask Me Why I Hurt, will be a featured speaker at the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics‘ Fifth Annual Community Service Learning Conference on April 5, 2012.  The Libraries and the Center are encouraging students, faculty and staff to read Ask Me Why I Hurt and participate in group discussions about the book in advance of the author’s visit.

Dr. Christensen is a pediatrician for Phoenix Children’s Hospital who operates the Crews’n Healthmobile, a 38-foot mobile medical unit that goes out into the streets of central Arizona to provide free healthcare services to homeless and at-risk youth, as well as referrals for housing, food, GED, substance abuse, employment, obtaining identification, legal services and health insurance.

Ask Me Why I Hurt is Dr. Christensen’s memoir of his work  caring for society’s throwaway kids—the often-abused, unloved children who live on the streets without access to proper health care, all the while fending off constant threats from thugs, gangs, pimps, and other predators.  You can learn more about the book and author at AskMeWhyIHurt.com, and follow Dr. Christensen on Twitter (@AskMeWhyIHurt).

Ask Me Why I Hurt cover imageWe encourage you to pick up a copy of Ask Me Why I Hurt at the Health Science Center Libraries, the San Antonio Public Library, or your local library.  You can also purchase the book at the campus bookstore, where faculty, staff and students can purchase the book at a 10% discount by showing a Health Science Center badge.

Group discussion opportunities: we hope you will join us for one of the following group discussions of the book:

  • Monday, March 26, 2012:
    • 7pm group discussion at the home of Dr Ruth Berggren.
      To RSVP, contact Jason Vasquez at vasquezja@uthscsa.edu or 210.567.0795.
  • Wednesday, April 4, 2012:
    • Noon-1pm group discussion in the Howe Conference Room (Briscoe Library 5.076) led by Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries.  Feel free to bring your lunch; dessert will be provided.
  • Watch this space for announcements of additional upcoming discussion group opportunities, facilitated by the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics.

Finally, we hope you’ll join us on Thursday, April 5, 2012 for the Community Service Learning Conference, where Dr. Christensen and Julie Watson LPN will speak on “Why do you do what you do? Caring for Underserved Populations.” at 3:35pm.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Book jacket image for The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThis year’s “One Community/One Book” selection for the UT Health Science Center is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.

We invite you to read the book (or start with the excerpts linked below), and join the conversation!  You can start by leaving a comment on this post with your general impressions of the book, based on your reading of the excerpts or the book so far.

Over the next few weeks, we’d like to invite you to:

If you haven’t started the book yet, I’d invite you to read one of the following excerpts to learn more about the book’s topic and get a sense for the author’s style:

If you’ve read the excerpts above or started the book, what are your impressions so far? Please leave your comments on this post to let us know what you think.

Then come back to this blog over the next few weeks to continue the discussion with fellow readers, and consider more discussion topics.