Black Travel Nurses

Reading List Must-Read Books and Podcasts for Black Healthcare Professionals

Reading List: Must-Read Books and Podcasts for Black Healthcare Professionals

Stepping into the lounge of a new medical facility, you quickly realize that while the tools and the technology might change, one thing remains a constant companion for many professionals: their favorite book or podcast.

It’s these resources that provide not just knowledge, but also comfort, inspiration, and a sense of belonging. As a Black healthcare professional, finding relatable content is invaluable. 

Here’s a curated reading and listening list for you.

Books That Resonate

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot

You open this book and are immediately immersed in the true story of Henrietta Lacks, a Black woman whose cells became one of the most vital tools in medicine. But as you turn each page, you grapple with questions about ethics, race, and the exploitation of Black bodies in science.

“Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present” by Harriet A. Washington

As you journey through the chapters, a chilling history unfolds. This book is an eye-opener, challenging you to confront the past, understand its impact on the present, and become an advocate for change.

“Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine” by Damon Tweedy

Damon’s story feels like a heartfelt conversation with a colleague. As you dive into his experiences, his candid discussions on racial disparities in medicine feel both personal and universal, prompting introspection about your own journey.

Podcasts That Inspire

“Black Doctors Talk”

You plug in your earphones, and suddenly you’re in a room with Black physicians, researchers, and health professionals discussing their experiences. Their voices provide an intimate understanding of challenges faced, innovations created, and the joys of the profession.

“The Safe Space” hosted by Dr. Nzinga Harrison

Dr. Harrison’s voice is reassuring as she dives into topics on addiction, mental health, and the experiences of healthcare professionals. You find solace in her guidance, often feeling like she’s speaking directly to you, addressing your unique concerns.

“The Break Room” with Dr. Rheeda Walker

The first time you listen, you’re captivated. The podcast feels like a rejuvenating break during a long shift, discussing mental well-being, racial trauma, and the challenges Black healthcare professionals face.

Books That Empower

“Mind Matters: A Resource Guide to Psychiatry for Black Communities” by Dr. Olusola Ajilore and Dr. Kala Melchiori

You can’t help but appreciate the effort behind this guide. It speaks directly to Black communities, addressing mental health with care and understanding, reminding you of the importance of representation in literature.

“Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between” by Theresa Brown

As you delve into Theresa’s transition from English professor to novice nurse, you’re reminded of the universal experiences and challenges of healthcare, intertwined with personal narratives that resonate deeply.

“Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors” by Carolyn Finney

You might wonder about its inclusion on this list, but the narrative is powerful. It speaks to the idea of space, place, and identity, subtly nudging you to think about your own space within the healthcare system.

Podcasts That Educate

“The Nocturnists”

Every episode feels like a late-night conversation among healthcare professionals. Their stories are raw, real, and reflective, often giving you insights into patient care and the emotional roller coaster of the profession.

“The Grown Folks’ Business” hosted by Dr. Ijeoma Oluo

Dr. Oluo’s discussions on racial disparity, especially in healthcare, are enlightening. You often find yourself nodding, learning, and feeling seen and heard.

With every page you turn and each podcast episode you play, may you find growth, validation, and the strength to continue your invaluable work in healthcare. 


  1. Are these books and podcasts US-centric?

While many authors and podcast hosts are based in the US, the themes they touch upon resonate globally, offering insights applicable across borders.

  1. Where can I access these podcasts?

Most of these podcasts are available on platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and their respective official websites.

  1. How often are podcast episodes released?

The frequency varies. Some release weekly episodes, while others might be bi-weekly or monthly. It’s best to check on their official platforms.

  1. Are there discussion groups or clubs based on these recommendations?

Many readers and listeners create online forums or social media groups to discuss these books and podcasts. Websites like Goodreads often have book clubs, and platforms like Reddit might have podcast discussion threads.

  1. Can I suggest these for continuing education or group discussions at my facility?

Absolutely. They provide valuable insights into race, ethics, and healthcare experiences that can be immensely beneficial for group discussions or continuing education.


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