Life on the Ground Floor

Life on the Ground Floor

Letters From the Edge of Emergency Medicine

Book - 2017
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"A celebrated humanitarian doctor's unique perspective on sickness, health and what it is to be alive. In this deeply personal book, humanitarian doctor and activist James Maskalyk, author of the highly acclaimed Six Months in Sudan, draws upon his experience treating patients in the world's emergency rooms. From Toronto to Addis Ababa, Cambodia to Bolivia, he discovers that although the cultures, resources and medical challenges of each hospital may differ, they are linked indelibly by the ground floor: the location of their emergency rooms. Here, on the ground floor, is where Dr. Maskalyk witnesses the story of "human aliveness"--our mourning and laughter, tragedies and hopes, the frailty of being and the resilience of the human spirit. And it's here too that he is swept into the story, confronting his fears and doubts and questioning what it is to be a doctor."--
Publisher: Toronto : Doubleday Canada, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780385665971
Characteristics: 254 pages ; 22 cm


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Jan 25, 2019

I almost can't describe this book - it's a mix of stories about the author's personal and professional life, but there are also moments where he touches on mindfulness and reflects on life and what it means to live and die.

I don't want to scare anyone away with the word "mindfulness." It's not overbearing, and the author doesn't give any advice or push any methodology. There's just something about the way he asks questions and reflects on his experience that makes you think about your own life and mortality. I read this book shortly after a family member passed away, and his discussion of life and death helped me cope a little bit.

Jan 15, 2019

challenging writing style

GSPLjodie Mar 15, 2018

Winner of the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Easy to read and informative.

Jan 15, 2018

After struggling through more than 80 pages, I gave up on this jumbled memoir. The author interweaves events in northern Alberta, his emergency ward in a Toronto hospital, and experiences in various Third World medical assignments within chapters based on thematic topics. The author makes references to his previous writing without providing enough background to the reader.

Sep 27, 2017

I liked this work,, even if it had more of a magazine type weight
To it than a fully realized book.
Still, as patients, we have to be grateful for doctors like this,
And all they do.
It's remarkable that he remembers , in detail, all his transient patients.
As a reader,I wonder how long their brief stories will stay with us.

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Jan 25, 2019

Sarah_R33 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Jan 25, 2019

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Graphic descriptions of injuries and medical procedures


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