Living and Dying in Brick City: An E.R. Doctor Returns Home

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9781470842451: Living and Dying in Brick City: An E.R. Doctor Returns Home

A riveting personal exploration of the health-care crisis facing inner-city communities, written by an emergency room physician who grew up in the very neighborhood he is now serving.

Sampson Davis is best known as one of three friends from inner-city Newark who made a pact in high school to become doctors. Their book The Pact and the work they have done with the Three Doctors Foundation have inspired countless young men and women to strive for goals they otherwise would not have dreamed they could attain. In this book, Dr. Davis looks at the health-care crisis in the inner city from a rare perspective: that of a doctor who works on the front line of emergency medical care in the community where he grew up and as a member of that community who has faced the same challenges as the people he treats every day. He also offers invaluable practical advice for those living in such communities, where conditions like asthma, heart disease, strokes, obesity, and AIDS are disproportionately endemic.

Dr. Davis has struggled with many of the issues troubling his patients. His sister, a drug addict, died of AIDS; his brother is now paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair as a result of a bar fight; and he himself did time in juvenile detention -- a wake-up call that changed his life. He recounts recognizing a young man with critical gunshot wounds as someone who was arrested with him when he was a teenager during a robbery gone bad, describes a patient with sickle cell anemia whose case is more complicated than he understands, and explains the difficulty he has convincing his landlord and friend, an older woman, to go to the hospital for much-needed treatment. With empathy and hard-earned wisdom, Living and Dying in Brick City presents an urgent picture of medical care in our cities and an important resource guide for anyone at risk, anyone close to those at risk, and anyone who cares about the fate of our cities.

[*Produced by Buck 50 Productions]

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About the Author:

SAMPSON DAVIS was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. He is a board-certified emergency medicine physician and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Pact, We Beat the Street, and The Bond.He is the youngest physician to receive the National Medical Association's highest honor, the Scroll of Merit. He is a recipient of Essence and BET humanitarian awards and was named by Essence as one of the forty most inspirational African Americans. He is a founder of the Three Doctors Foundation and practices medicine in New Jersey.

From Booklist:

Davis—an African American who grew up in a tough neighborhood in Newark, aka Brick City, beat the odds, and became an emergency room doctor in the hospital where he was born—is a likable but flawed hero. And his book is a page-turner as he and Washington Post writer and editor Page, coauthor of the best-selling memoir The Pact (2002) with Davis and his best childhood friends, create memorable scenes. To compellingly tell the story of the health crisis in poor, urban America, they draw on Davis’ experiences in the emergency room and in his own family. His dad gets prostate cancer, his older sister contracts AIDS, and his older, alcoholic brother becomes paralyzed because of a fight. Davis describes trying and failing to help such emergency-room patients as a victim of domestic violence and a 700-pound woman. He tries to figure out whether sickle-cell-anemia patients who come into the ER complaining of pain truly need prescription medication or if they’re just looking for an easy fix. A personal and thought-provoking look at inner-city health. --Karen Springen

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