September 6, 2011

Augustus A. White III, M.D., Ph.D., to Present Dean's Lecture, Noon, Wednesday, Sept. 7

Augustus A. White III, M.D., Ph.D., the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Distinguished Professor of Medical Education and Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School, will present the VUSM Dean Lecture, Wednesday, Sept. 7.

The lecture is titled "What Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Would Want Us to Know about Health Care Disparities" and will be in 208 Light Hall at noon. White is a former Master of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Society, Harvard Medical School.

A renowned spine surgeon, pioneer and role model, White has written a memoir, "Seeing Patients: Unconscious Bias in Health Care." Besides an extensive look at his remarkable life, the book explores how subconscious stereotyping influences doctor-patient interactions, diagnosis and treatment. The book also addresses growing up in the South in the 1940s and the challenge of eliminating the deeply-rooted biases against minority patients that he believes are prevalent in the American health-care system.

In 1961, he became the first African-American graduate of Stanford University Medical School and, two years later, the first African-American surgical resident at Yale University School of Medicine. After serving in Vietnam, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. White has been a driving force for diversity and culturally competent care in medicine.

Following the lecture, there will be a book signing from 1-2 p.m. in the North Lobby of Light Hall.

Lunch provided with RSVP; please reply by noon, Tuesday, Sept. 6, to