On the Ledge: A Doctor's Stories from the Inner City

Neil Skolnik, Author Faber & Faber $19.95 (180p) ISBN 978-0-571-19883-2
When an idealistic young doctor attempts to practice family medicine at an inner-city clinic, he has awakenings that are rude, instructive and formative. All those are found in the connected stories told here by Skolnik, whose two years of association with the clinic, until it was closed for lack of funding, were filled with frustration as well as with wonder at the wide range of services his patients drew from him. Vignettes of his patients-manipulative drug users, a young TB victim dying despite miracle drugs, canny old-timers who take the young doc's advice sparingly-portray the emotionally rending aspect of working with the urban poor. The humbling fact of not being a white-coated savior is evoked as well in these glimpses of a compassionate doctor at the start of his career. Skolnik is associate director of the family residency program at Abington Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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