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Trauma surgeon will address UB medical school students on gun violence and racism

Cover of Brian Williams' book "The Bodies Keep Coming"
Image provided by the University at Buffalo
Author and surgeon Brian Williams will speak at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

As a Black trauma surgeon, Dr. Brian Williams has a unique perspective on gun violence and on racism. Author of the forthcoming book, "The Bodies Keep Coming: Dispatches from a Black Trauma Surgeon on Racism, Violence and How We Heal,” Williams will share his experience in an address today at the University at Buffalo's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Williams will take part in a panel discussion starting at 5 p.m. at the Jacobs School lecture hall at 955 Main St. He will follow with a speech at 6:15 p.m. The public is welcome, though registration is required. The event can also be viewed via Zoom.

For the Jacobs School, it's the third year for its "Beyond the Knife" lecture series.

"We picked this topic--we've had a different topic every year — we picked this topic in recognition of the impact of the Tops shooting," said Dr. Steven Schwaitzberg, professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery. "Last year, we talked about the care of Black women in the Antebellum era, which was, by Deidre Cooper Owens, equally fascinating. But this is a very poignant topic in Buffalo today."

Schwaitzberg said it's part of ongoing effort to help future doctors understand the realities of all of their patients.

"The social determinants of care impact every specialty imaginable in health care whether it's medicine, pediatrics or psychiatry, but surgery as well. We do operations on people. If they don't have support services at home their outcomes are diminished." Schwaitzberg explained.

As an example, cancer patients have the best outcomes when their cancers are discovered early. However, patients with an inherent distrust of the medical community are less likely to be screened.

"We need to be interested in breaking these barriers down so we can provide optimal care for everybody," Schwaitzberg said.

Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.