Week 14 Response

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    Damon Tweedy’s “Black Man In a White Coat” did a great job of portraying real events that occur within the medical field when it comes down to race and medicine. What makes this book different from many other forms of text is how authentic the dialogue is. Being black in our world is more than just the color of your skin. Various times Tweedy depicts the most painfully honest situations about being a black medical student and practicing physician. Reflecting on this novel made me think a lot about what I’ve been surrounded by my entire life. I cannot name more than 5 family members, who do not suffer from some-type of stereotypical medical diagnosis. I thought this was because of the foods we eat and the lack of physical exercise. Though I am sure this poses some correlation as well, Damon and this course has made me realize that social and economic factors that influence health more than anything (p. 236 & 237). I can count various times where my family has waited until they could no longer mask their pain or even make it to work before they are finally are rushed to the hospital. As my mom, a nurse of 15 years, has been sick for almost a year now and we’ve been begging her to go the doctor. Finally, a few months ago she told me that she had been putting it off because medical insurance is so expensive and she is still paying back school loans so she doesn’t want to be any more debt and will work until she can get the money up. It has been a blessing that she now has insurance but with putting off this for so long she now has to have another surgery that puts her out of work for 6-8 weeks. Because she knows the ins and outs of her condition she keeps pushing through every day so that she can work up until the surgery date when she should be taking it easy. This only goes to prove that it’s not that African-Americans and other minorities don’t follow health care decisions because they don’t want to but rather because they are already living in a disadvantaged world and can’t afford too. As single-mother, who “makes to much” to get governmental health-care benefits and raising three kids, two of which are in college and one still in elementary school, the system doesn’t really play out to work in our favor.

    I know that this situation is one that cannot be changed and does not entirely revolve around the fact that we are black, but I feel that I can relate first hand on a small level. This book covers so much more than this and I really found the Lucy story to be one of the best-depicted scenes in this book. The connections to health care and race is something I find to be very interesting and one that I would like to make a difference in. Thanks to this class and this book, I have learned so much more about my passions and family. Things that I never considered and conversations that I would have never taken part in throughout campus, with my family, friends, and professors. I feel that this not only has enlightened me but with so many perspectives to consider I will be an overall rounded health care physician.

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