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.

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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

For more information on Community Discussions in Social Justice, contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at 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.