This is 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.
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.
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