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Dr. Yvonne Thornton, author of the heartwarming memoir The Ditchdigger's Daughters (which has been translated into 19 languages and adapted as an award-winning movie), knows what it's like to overcome steep odds. Born into a family with great ambition but few advantages, Dr. Thornton watched her parents work their entire lives to give their daughters a chance, dreaming of the day their girls would be called "doctor." Now, in Something to Prove, Dr. Thornton brings us along her continued path as a doctor and ...
Dr. Yvonne Thornton, author of the heartwarming memoir The Ditchdigger's Daughters (which has been translated into 19 languages and adapted as an award-winning movie), knows what it's like to overcome steep odds. Born into a family with great ambition but few advantages, Dr. Thornton watched her parents work their entire lives to give their daughters a chance, dreaming of the day their girls would be called "doctor." Now, in Something to Prove, Dr. Thornton brings us along her continued path as a doctor and mother, revealing the challenges of balancing a flourishing medical career with a growing family.
Follow-up to the author's bestselling The Ditchdigger's Daughters(1995).
In her previous book, Thornton (Obstetrics and Gynecology/New York Medical Coll.) described how her working-class parents insisted that their five daughters do well in school and grow up to become doctors, which four of them did. This book begins in the early 1980s, as the author, then one of a handful of black female obstetricians in the country, joined New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center as an assistant professor in obstetrics-gynecology. She was marginalized, assigned a basement office and encountered mistreatment by colleagues that would plague much of her career at several New York–area hospitals. Ambitious and assertive, Thornton draws strength from her upbringing and perseveres in her quest for success. In her dingy digs, she improved the hospital clinic and built a thriving private practice. She won promotion to associate professor after threatening to resign upon learning that a former resident of hers "with the Cornell boys' club 'look'—tall, blonde, handsome, and well dressed" had been elevated to that rank. Later, on encountering bias at other hospitals, she recalled her father's observation, "Builds character, Cookie, builds character." Much of the book focuses on Thornton's work as a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine and her efforts to carry on the family tradition by encouraging her two gifted children to aspire to medical careers. As the book closes, Woody, a national chess champion, has graduated from medical school and plans to enter academic medicine; Kimberly is a medical student; and Thornton is a full professor—a post held by only 12 percent of female doctors—at a suburban medical college. While her story will undoubtedly attract fans of her earlier memoir, the author's relentless drive to overachieve—and her insistence that her own privileged children become physicians—may seem disconcerting to some readers, as if she had learned her father's lessons only too well. But then, as she writes, the idea was always to "pull so far ahead that nothing and no one could hold us back."
Candid and well-written.
Chapter 1 The Sub-Basement and the Glass Ceiling 1
Chapter 2 There's a Call for Dr. Thornton 25
Chapter 3 Learning to Play the Game 45
Chapter 4 Mommy's Wish; Daddy's Voice 73
Chapter 5 Borrowed Time 81
Chapter 6 Keep an Eye on the Team for Me 95
Chapter 7 Can I Still Have a Baby? 113
Chapter 8 Reality: Check 131
Chapter 9 May the Future Be as Kind and Honest to You 157
Chapter 10 Goin' Up Yonder 169
Chapter 11 Polishing the Legacy 189
Chapter 12 No Good Deed 205
Chapter 13 Mystery Solved 213
Chapter 14 A Colossal Prayer 229
Chapter 15 Biding My Time 237
Chapter 16 They're Not Coming 243
Chapter 17 Picking Up the Mantle 257
about the authors 271
Posted March 14, 2011
Having read Dr. Thornton's book, "The Ditchdigger's Daughters", I looked forward to reading "Something to Prove". I certainly was not disappointed; I could not put this book down. The wisdom of her parents, especially her father, was a wonderful gift to their children. From her struggles as a black woman in a "Man's" profession, she gained strength. With this wisdom and strength, along with the support of a close, loving family, what she has achieved is incredible. Dr. Thornton is an amazing woman, who is an inspiration to all!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 9, 2011
I first heard of Dr. Thornton when I ordered "The Ditchdigger's Daughters" for our library. What a wonderful and inspiring story! I just finished reading "Something to Prove" and again, I was not disappointed! This is a story of perseverance, tenacity, and belief in
one's self. Bravo to Dr. Thornton and to all that she has accomplished!
Posted January 9, 2011
From the moment I began reading, I couldn't put this book down. "Something to Prove" is both inspirational and maddening at the same time. Dr. Thornton's accomplishments in and of themselves are noteworthy, but the obstacles she endured along her journey should never have happened to such an accomplished doctor. Her memoir is a testament to her strength and ability to rise above the small-mindedness of those who surrounded her throughout her career. Dr. Thornton found strength in her parents, husband and children to keep on going and to continue striving to be the best she can be. This book made me laugh, cry, smile, cheer, and want to strangle someone...all at the same time. Thank you, Dr. Thornton, for writing your story and sharing it with us. You have touched so many people in so many ways, through your career as a doctor, mentor, professor, friend, child, wife, mother, colleague, author - THANK YOU. You are such a positive influence.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 6, 2011
The best things in life aren't handed to us, they are earned. Something to Prove is a story about the human spirit and what can be achieved by chasing your dream. Not only is Yvonne the perfect role model, her voice was made for sharing her story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and give it five stars.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 5, 2011
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