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"In virtually every field of medicine, black patients as a group fare the worst."
So writes Dr. Damon Tweedy in his new book, which is out this month. It's called, "Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine."
Dr. Tweedy lists statistics that make your head spin — the infant mortality rate among African-Americans is twice that of whites, black men are seven times more likely than white men to be diagnosed with H.I.V. Black women have almost double the obesity rate of white women.
Tweedy acknowledges that factors like poverty and a lack of access to health care play a role, but he also makes the argument that a lack of black doctors is a big part of the problem.
Dr. Damon Tweedy, assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and staff physician at the Durham VA Medical Center. His new book is "Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine."
- "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 in a country where blacks are more likely than other groups to suffer from, for instance, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney failure and cancer. 'Being black can be bad for your health,' he says."
- "The son of a grocery-store meat cutter, Tweedy arrived at Duke in 1996 as one of few African-American medical students. While attending one of his first classes, a white professor mistook Tweedy for a maintenance worker and asked him to fix the lights."
- "When he treats black patients, Tweedy says he sometimes feels like a translator whose job it is to bridge the gap between his patients and a medical establishment that can sometimes be alienating."
This segment aired on September 16, 2015.
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