Healthcare is an extremely important aspect of any society, but it’s also a flawed one. Healthcare systems all over the world underserve people of varying backgrounds, and we as individuals must make ourselves aware of these things, whether we’re in the healthcare system or not. A great way to become more knowledgeable on this difficult subject is by reading some of the many books written by those who have experienced these healthcare inequities firsthand, whether as the patient or the provider. Here are a few of those books.
Black Man in a White Coat — Damon Tweedy, MD
In his memoir, “Black Man in a White Coat,” which is about his experiences as a medical student and practicing physician, Damon Tweedy talks about how he was initially unaware of how much racial discrimination would affect his interactions with patients. Through his time in medical school and as a practicing physician, he eventually comes across the root causes of various health problems that disproportionately affected African-Americans. His experiences with chronic disease also serve as a basis for his discussions about the inequities in healthcare.
Bodies and Barriers — Edited by Adrian Shanker
In Bodies and Barriers, which came out in 2020, 26 prominent queer activists share their experiences with the healthcare challenges they face throughout their lives. Editor Adrian Shanker aims to help medical professionals and policymakers identify areas of potential improvement and develop a road map to ending the health disparities that exist in the queer community.
Doing Harm — Maya Dusenbery
In 2018, Maya Dusenbery wrote a book about women’s health research that tackled the various issues that have been raised about the lack of resources and training for female healthcare providers. Dusenbery dives into issues alongside a history of women being misdiagnosed and mistrusted. She then goes on to explain how these issues have affected the healthcare industry today.
Sex Matters — Alyson J. McGregor, MD
In her book, McGregor talks about the various types of illnesses that women and men experience differently. She also provides a variety of tools that women can use to improve their health. In addition to talking about the symptoms of different illnesses, she additionally talks about how medications can affect women’s health differently than they would a man’s.