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¿Living and Dying in Brick City¿ is an eye-opening book by Dr. S
“Living and Dying in Brick City” is an eye-opening book by Dr. Sampson Davis, previously best known for co-writing “The Pact.” In “The Pact,” Dr. Davis described the bond that he made with two other kids with whom he grew up in the inner city. They decided that they would all rise out of their difficult surroundings and become physicians, and all three have lived up to that promise. In “Living and Dying” Dr. Davis returns back home to Newark as an Emergency Room attending physician, where he works in Beth Israel Hospital, a tough inner city hospital that sees its share of drama and tragedies. He tells the gritty and affecting stories of many of his memorable patients. Their stories are at times uplifting and at times sad reminders of how our society sometimes fails its least fortunate.
One fascinating story involved a young man who arrived in the ER with critical gunshot wounds. He was transported to the ICU where he died. Dr. Davis recognized his name on the patient list as a kid who accompanied him when they committed an armed robbery at the age of 17. Unlike Dr. Davis, who went on to success as a physician, this young man went in a completely different direction. It’s stories like these that make one realize the small forks in the road that can determine our lives.
Unlike most other medical memoirs, this book also gives practical advice to people who are trapped in the difficult situations of many of the patients in his stories. It’s a wake-up call for people to learn about the difficulties and failings of health care in major urban settings. I really enjoyed it.
This book is the latest in what I consider a recent renaissance of medical memoirs. If you enjoy this book, I recommend two others that are fascinating reading. Dr. Anthony Youn’s "In Stitches" is a riveting and enjoyable read about one man’s journey through medical school. It’s filled with some of the most memorable stories of patient encounters I’ve ever read, and was the rare medical memoir that made me laugh out loud. It’s a must read for anyone interested in medicine and physicians.
"Twelve Patients" by Dr. Eric Manheimer tells the stories of patients at the famed Bellevue Hospital, written by the former medical director there. The author pulls no punches in describing these affecting and often unusual patients in sometimes terrifying detail. Very recommended.
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Posted February 28, 2013
I could not put this book down. These are amazing stories and t
I could not put this book down. These are amazing stories and they are well written. Dr. Sampson Davis also wrote The Pact and after reading this, I am going to have to read that too.
Growing up in New Jersey, Dr. Davis made a pact with two friends that they would become doctors and then he returned to the area to practice. This book is a collection of stories from his experience in the emergency room. Following most chapters is a concise summary of medical advice. Of particular interest to me was the section on birth control and adoption following the very different stories of Mrs. Harris and Mrs. Givens.
Maybe his next book could be a story about Mrs. Jackson? I would be love to hear more about her.
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Posted February 12, 2014
Posted September 3, 2013
I have read all the books by the Three Doctors and they were riv
I have read all the books by the Three Doctors and they were riveting. This one?! took the cake! I read this book in 5hours straight! I only stopped to eat or rather took a snack. I could not put it down! I felt addicted! Great book for all who can read. I would love to hear the experiences of the other two doctors.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 21, 2013
This book can hold its own against any other form of medical dra
This book can hold its own against any other form of medical drama, a genre very popular in print and television. If that was all it was, it would make for an exciting reading experience, but then disappear down the rabbit hole of memory. There is however much more to the book which makes it unforgettable. The book is divided into thematic chapters with cryptic titles such as “Love Hurts” and “The Fish Bowl”, that leave one guessing what they might signify. Each chapter uses actual cases that Dr Davis has encountered in training or in practice, but supplements the narrative with commentary on public health and social issues as well as personal biographical references. These three elements blend seamlessly and skillfully into each other effortlessly moving between them and yet creating a cohesive unit defining a specific problem. The descriptions of the medical cases are exciting, with all the drama encountered in an emergency room setting. The public health issues and problems are usually clearly defined and backed by statistical data that are sometimes alarming. The most gripping portion of each chapter, however is the biographical linking of the episodes and situations to the author by references to his personal story. This is the most poignant and heartwarming aspect of every chapter. Very few persons, if any, describing such events can really say “Been There, or Done That.” A constant theme is “Look at me now. If I can do it, so can You.”Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This book should be required reading as part of all Medical School Curricula or in any form of training associated with the Health Profession. In these days of Impersonal Medicine fuelled by avarice and a push by most medical students towards the most lucrative specialities, it may important to be reminded that unlike many professions, the practice of Medicine is really about helping others.
If you live in an area of the country similar to Newark, and there are many such areas in Urban America, this book may help you deal with your problems. It may offer you some hope, realizing that there may be a way out, and there are resources you can turn to for help.
If you live anywhere else, you will learn about a part of the country you probably had no idea existed. It will give you something to think about when you are forced to make a detour through an area you would never venture into. It may even inspire you to want to do something about the problem. The costs of urban neglect are astronomical and are borne by the community at large, and so it makes good economic sense to do something about it.
This book will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will make you sad. It will make you mad. It will however warm your heart and perhaps inspire you. Every penny you invest, (not spend), in purchasing the book will return more than you paid.
If you like the book, tell your friends and neighbors about it. Donate or circulate your copies. Lead book club discussions in your community and make sure your library and schools carry it.
If you hate the book, you probably hate kittens, puppies and babies and need a nice big hug to warm your heart.
Posted March 19, 2013
Posted April 6, 2013
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