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Memphis House Call from Noted New Jersey ER Doctor

April 7, 2015

The thought of giving back and paying it forward has always been at the forefront of my mind and actions. Partly because so many individuals helped me to reach heights that at one time appeared insurmountable. I was born, the fifth of six children, in one of America’s toughest cities –Newark, NJ.  As a child, I was surrounded by fragmented homes and a surplus of drugs and crime. It was difficult, almost impossible to imagine a success story blossoming from my neighborhood.  I remember clearly, as a child, my mother, enforcing education as the platform to success.  She believed it would save my life and it did.

Education served as the bridge to my future all the while providing the escape from my immediate environment.  I was resistant at first, mainly because education wasn’t a popular path taken in my neighborhood. It was a paradox, in the sense, if you did well academically you were called names like nerd or geek and if you stirred up trouble and mischief you were considered popular and well liked.  What teenager doesn’t desire the admiration and praise of his peers?  Fortunately, I was able to straddle both worlds blending in with the cool crowd and performing well academically.

I understood my mother’s words and realized my only hope to escape the blocks of Newark was through education.  Still, I didn’t know how to explore the pathway to college. No one in my family had ever gone to college.  Looking back now, the process appeared simple but at the time to a 16 year-old scrawny, misguided teenager, it was daunting and intimidating.

Along the way to higher education, I lost many friends to the temptations of the streets and the mirage of quick riches.  I too fell victim, at times finding myself in trouble as a direct result of poor decisions.  Fortunately, I managed to steady the course and made an unconventional promise with two of my high school friends. Together, like the 3 musketeers, we set out to blaze a path towards conquering the improbable.   We would use our friendship as a shield preventing any entry of naysayers into our circle. We would use our smarts and ambition to go after a dream. Today we have achieved what many labeled impossible. Today we are doctors and our pact, our promise to one another to stick together and hold one another accountable, has been fulfilled.

I am a now a board certified emergency medicine physician, a New York Times Best Selling Author of The Pact, We Beat the Street, The Bond and recently published Living and Dying in Brick City.  I’m also a professional speaker and have been honored to speak to many large audiences throughout the years.  This year, my foundation, The Three Doctors Foundation, will celebrate its 15th year. This non-profit organization was created to give back to the community and pay homage to all that helped along the way.  Highlighting health, education and mentoring, The Three Doctors Foundation hosts a variety of programs in New Jersey.  The goals are centered around community, making education and health, popular and accessible.

Many of today youth I speak with want to pursue media popular careers like music and sports. The reality is that, only one or two, may reach a professional level in those arenas.  My question is why not focus on something that offers more of a guarantee?  Why not elevate academics?  The aim is to glamorize education as fashionable and obtainable. Give it the same style and pizzaz that we give music, sports and entertainment.  This process will allow education to attract more young minds.

My hope is to empower all students. Let’s get behind the youth and let them know we are here to lend a hand.

Thanks to FedEx, I recently had the opportunity to speak to the young minds and future leaders at Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School in Memphis, Tennessee.  These sixth, seventh and eighth graders are filled with ambition and desire. They are willing to put in the necessary work and effort it takes to achieve success.  I know this to be true because I witnessed it in their smiling faces, their bright eyes, their upright body posture and their convincing focus.

Dr Davis Grizz PrepI see a great deal of myself in each one of The Grizzles students and realize, I was one of the lucky ones. If it wasn’t for my pact and the help of many individuals along the way like Carla Dickson, Dr. Linda Hsu, Reggie Brown, my mother and many others, I wouldn’t be here today and you certainly wouldn’t be reading this article.

Students everywhere want success. They want to matter in life.  For this reason and many more, we must give back!

At the end of it all, there aren’t too many good feeling vibes like the joy of seeing a success story and knowing you had a little something to do with it. Make sure you do not to miss the opportunity.

“This man that came from a bad situation helped me and all of my class mates understand that if you put your mind to it then you can do it. Dr. Sampson helped me realize to take advantage of what I have so I can do whatever I want in life.” — Skylan Stephens, 8th grade

“I had a very interesting experience when Dr. Sampson Davis came. He talked about many things, such as how he grew up and what inspired him to become a better person. As a growing adult, I will take note of these words. I’ll learn to become a better man. Dr. Davis wants us to use our gifts wisely.  I will always remember this day.”– Tye Ficklen, 8th grade


Comments

    Patricia Richardson says:

    I am overwhelmed with pride and hope as a read this. I know you were a group filled with stars when I had you guys in my Reading class back at Universiyy High grades 7&8. You were focused endearing and smart then as a young man. You embraced the opportunities that you found and created You now are following your inner voice and Gods grace by giving back every day in so many ways. Those of is honored to have had you pass through our lives are so so pleased and proud. May you continue to be blessed. You and your two best best friends and colleagues. I love you guys.

    Maggie D'Amico, RN says:

    worked with you at the “Beth” and when I read all the posts about you it makes me so proud. God has blessed you with a wonderful gift and you honor him everyday by living the life you live. Working with you was my honor and to see how far you have come makes my heart fill with joy! God Bless!!

    Tana Dupree says:

    I love the work that Dr. Davis, Dr. Hunt and Dr. Jenkins are doing. I appreciate them, from their roots to where they are now. I hope they continue to strive on their journey as strong black men and continue to be an inspiration to the young and old in cities and states everywhere. Continued love and success to you ALL!

    Donna Harvey says:

    Thank you Dr. Davis for visiting my son’s academy. Thank you for inspiring all of the scholars with your heartfelt dtoryt. My son is a 7th grader there and this is his second year. He has grown so much and learned bso much from his instruction there. His memory is incredible! Thank you again sir!

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