by Augustus A. White III
with David Chanoff
Harvard University Press, 2019
Paper: 978-0-674-24137-4 | eISBN: 978-0-674-24406-1
Library of Congress Classification RD27.35.W53A3 2019


“A powerful and extraordinarily important book.”
—James P. Comer, MD

“A marvelous personal journey that illuminates what it means to care for people of all races, religions, and cultures. The story of this man becomes the aspiration of all those who seek to minister not only to the body but also to the soul.”
—Jerome Groopman, MD, author of How Doctors Think

Growing up in Jim Crow–era Tennessee and training and teaching in overwhelmingly white medical institutions, Gus White witnessed firsthand how prejudice works in the world of medicine. While race relations have changed dramatically since then, old ways of thinking die hard. In this blend of memoir and manifesto, Dr. White draws on his experience as a resident at Stanford Medical School, a combat surgeon in Vietnam, and head orthopedic surgeon at one of Harvard’s top teaching hospitals to make sense of the unconscious bias that riddles medical care, and to explore how we can do better in a diverse twenty-first-century America.

“Gus White is many things—trailblazing physician, gifted surgeon, and freedom fighter. Seeing Patients demonstrates to the world what many of us already knew—that he is also a compelling storyteller. This powerful memoir weaves personal experience and scientific research to reveal how the enduring legacy of social inequality shapes America’s medical field. For medical practitioners and patients alike, Dr. White offers both diagnosis and prescription.”
—Jonathan L. Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, Harvard University

“A tour de force—a compelling story about race, health, and conquering inequality in medical care…Dr. White has a uniquely perceptive lens with which to see and understand unconscious bias in health care…His journey is so absorbing that you will not be able to put this book down.”
—Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., author of All Deliberate Speed