ASCO Book Club: Dr. Damon Tweedy to Discuss Intersection of Race and Medicine

ASCO Book Club: Dr. Damon Tweedy to Discuss Intersection of Race and Medicine

Dr. Damon Tweedy
On June 2, during the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting, Damon Tweedy, MD, will speak to attendees about his bestselling memoir, Black Man in a White Coat, which explores the intersection between race and medicine through personal experience and reflection. 

Dr. Tweedy is an associate professor of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine and staff physician at the Durham Veterans Affairs Health System. Much of Dr. Tweedy’s memoir takes place during the earlier years of his medical career—beginning with his time as a medical student at Duke University. From the earliest days of medical school, Dr. Tweedy writes about how he struggled to come to terms with the significant impact that being a black doctor in the United States would have on his career. 

The book is an honest and poignant investigation into the ways race plays into medicine and patient health. Through the diligent use of statistics and study references, Dr. Tweedy consistently reminds his readers that black patients are more likely than other groups to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney failure, and most cancers. “Something I would learn time and again, both at Duke and beyond: Being black can be bad for your health,” Dr. Tweedy writes. His experiences are sobering, and his writing is personal and earnest.

Black Man in a White Coat was published in 2015, and has since been named a New York Times Bestseller, one of TIME Magazine’s Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2015, and the Library Journal Best Books of 2015 Selection, among other accolades. A review in the Washington Post by Randall Kennedy, the Michael R. Klein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, reads, “Black Man in a White Coat offers a clear, informative, and uncommonly balanced assessment… Attentive to the frustrating inequalities rooted in our history, [Dr. Tweedy] is also usefully attuned to the promising prospects ahead.”

The ASCO Book Club Session, chaired by Teresa Gilewski, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, will include an informal discussion between Dr. Gilewski, Dr. Tweedy, and attendees. For further details and up-to-date program information, visit the iPlanner website or app.

–Caroline Hopkins