The Meredith College Convocation Committee will host a lecture by Damon Tweedy, author of the New York Times bestselling book Black Man in a White Coat, on Tuesday, March 17, at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. A reception is set to follow in Johnson Hall. There will also be a Q&A event at 3:30, where students will have the opportunity to ask questions in a more casual setting.
“I’m hoping that it will be an eye-opener for people wanting to pursue medicine as a career...about what some of the challenges are, especially for people of color,” says Brian Thornburg, who is a permanent member of Meredith’s Convocation Committee.
At the convocation, Tweedy will talk about his book, which is a memoir describing his experiences as a black medical student and intern in a predominantly white field. TIME Magazine named it as one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2015.
“His book talks about his observations and struggles as an AfricanAmerican man in America,” Thornburg says. “It hits a lot of different things that students could be interested in, whether it be biology, sociology or psychology. We’re excited that there are a lot of different pockets of students who would probably find this very rewarding.”
Tweedy attended the University of Maryland, graduated from Duke Medical School in 2000 and later graduated from Yale Law School in 2003. He currently serves as an associate professor of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine and is a staff physician at the Durham Veteran Affairs Health Care System. He has also published numerous articles about race and medicine in notable news sources such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune and the Raleigh News & Observer.
According to Thornburg, Dr. Karthik Aghoram, Professor of Biological Sciences, recommended Tweedy to the Convocation Committee: “We had considered some other speakers but [Aghoram] came to us enthusiastically. He’s read [Tweedy’s] book and felt it would be wonderful for our students to hear from him.”
This event is free and open for everyone. For Meredith students, this event also serves as an academic/cultural event. All Meredith students must attend at least eight academic/cultural events in order to graduate. “It’s not just about going to class and writing a paper and passing a test...all professors are looking for things that they think will enrich the lives and minds of their students to help them grow. The more you take advantage of this, the richer your experience will be,” said Thornburg; “It will feed your head and mind. Even if you’re not in a major that has anything to do with this, if you took the time and came to it, you’re going to learn something about the world that you might not have expected to.”
By Milin Santizo-Escobar, Staff Writer