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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.
This book goes to great lengths to provide tons of information to educate African Americans while trying to maintain a story line. It is only because of Cary Hite that I was able to connect. I fast forwarded through most of the informative details when it became too heavy. I do however think that it was a great attempt to bring awareness to the AA community on illnesses, drugs, sex, addictions and STDs. Although this was a pretty decent book, I think that it would have been more appropriate to include this information at the end of the book for reference. Highly informative though.
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If you could sum up Living and Dying in Brick City in three words, what would they be?
Thought provoking and in many instances sad.
What did you like best about this story?
The realism, the human touch as well as the inclusion of the nurses.
Which character – as performed by Cary Hite – was your favorite?
It was difficult to single out one character since Mr.Hite was so excellent. I guess it would have to be Mr.Tait and his daughter. After receiving the results of his x ray his concern was more for his daughter than himself.
Narration by Mr. Hite was so realistic.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Any additional comments?
Since I am an RN the inclusion of the nurses in this book is almost unheard of by most MD writers. Also coming from a very similar background it was very easy for me to relate to many of the characters and situations.
Dr.Davis is a rare breed on so many levels. I have read his other collaborations and given so many copies to the young men in my church. May he continue to work and share the much needed knowledge in the ER. He probably sees as many patients as the PCP since patients tend to go where they feel comfortable. Even many of those with medical coverage.