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Surgeon's memoir calls for an end to health disparities

My colleague recently linked to a list of recommended science- and medicine-related books. When vacationing last week, I read about another title that may also be worthy of inclusion.

Seeing Patients: Unconscious Bias in Health Care is the memoir of Harvard orthopedic surgeon Augustus White III, MD, PhD - described by the Associated Press as "the first African-American to graduate from Stanford Medical School, the first African-American resident and surgery professor at Yale and later the first black department head at Harvard's teaching hospitals." (We wrote about White in a 2006 piece in Stanford Medicine.)

AP writer Russell Contreras describes the book as not only highlighting White's path, which began with a childhood in segregated Memphis, but also serving as a call to increase diversity in medicine and to end health-care disparities in the U.S. (White refers to the latter as "the last frontier of racial prejudice.") And in the book, White outlines his solution: a focus on "culturally competent care" - which involves health professionals being responsive to "different values, language barriers and attitudes of patients that could influence how health care is received."

Previously: Vector offers recommended reading for the holidays

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