CAMDEN, NJ – Damon Tweedy, MD, author of the New York Times bestseller Black Man in a White Coat, selected by TIME magazine as one of the Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2015, today discussed the role of race in medicine as the featured speaker for the Fifth Annual Berkowitz Family Foundation Lecture Program.
“It is my hope that talking to you today and sharing my story will humanize the dire statistics and bitter racial debates that exist today,” Dr. Tweedy told the audience of more than 220, including medical students from Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and physicians, nurses, and medical staff from Cooper University Healthcare. “One of my goals is to help paint a fuller picture of the experiences of black patients, as well as that of the black doctors who navigate between the black community and the predominately white medical world.”
For the last several years, Dr. Tweedy has written and lectured on the intersection of race and medicine, publishing articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune, in addition to the medical journals JAMA and Annals of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Tweedy is a graduate of Duke University School of Medicine. He completed both his medical internship and psychiatry residency at Duke Hospital. He is currently an assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and a staff psychiatrist at the Durham VA Medical Center.
“Dr. Tweedy’s message about finding commonalities and respecting differences in medicine and in our society is a message for everyone,” said Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of The Cooper Foundation. “We are grateful to Dr. Tweedy for his participation in our lecture program and for his insightful discussion of such an important issue.”
The Berkowitz Family Foundation Lecture Program is presented by The Cooper Foundation, Cooper University Health Care and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, and funded by The Berkowitz Family Foundation.
A successful businessman and philanthropic leader in the Delaware Valley, Edwin Berkowitz passed away in January 2016 from cancer. He was the Chairman of the Board of JE Berkowitz, LP Architectural Glass, founded by his father in 1920 in Philadelphia and now run by his son Arthur.
Berkowitz was committed to the local community. He was the driving force behind the funding and the construction of the Hillel House at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as President of the Uptown Home for the Aged, President of the Golden Slipper Center for Seniors, and was the past president of the Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.
As a patient, Berkowitz observed the importance of ethical behavior and empathy by health care professionals. He was passionate when discussing the role of medical ethics in every day care and the ethical considerations in the development of unique treatments and medical technology. He also had an interest in new “personalized medicine” cancer treatment programs that identify genetic changes within the tumor itself.
“Our father cared deeply about ethics and humanism in medicine,” said Arthur Berkowitz on behalf of The Berkowitz Family Foundation. “I’m sure he would have appreciated hearing Dr. Tweedy’s lecture today and would be especially interested in how to solve the health disparities that continue to exist in our communities and how to address the challenges African American doctors face in a predominately white medical world.”