G. Bennett Humphrey

G. Bennett Humphrey’s pursuit of an academic career began when he entered The University of Chicago’s combined graduate MD/PhD program.
For relief from the demands of his graduate studies, he enjoyed various outdoor activities in the mountain and rivers of the West, as well as some of the culture benefits of the city of Chicago.
The author received a MD in 1960 and a PhD in biochemistry in1963. He also completed an internship and two years of residency in Internal Medicine and in the year before he entered the National  ...See more >


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AWARDS, PRESS & INTERESTS

INTERVIEW “Cozy up a book” , 2017

Professor Emil “Jay” Freireich, MD , 2017

25th WRITER’S DIGEST CONTEST , 2017

Professor S. Gerald Sandler, MD , 2016

Summer Wood, author of Raising Wrecker , 2016

Justin St. Germain, PhD, author ,Son of Gun, 2016

Annie Dawid, PhD, And Darkness Was under His Feet, 2016

Hometown Boulder, Colorado

Favorite author Thornton Wilder

Favorite book The Bridge for San Luis Rey

Day job Retired Professor of Pediatric Oncology

Favorite line from a book There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.

Favorite word sublime

Unexpected skill or talent Named Senior Poet Laureate for Colorado in 2013, from chap book: The Magpie Cried, 2013 Finishing Line Press

Passion in life The Mountains of Colorado


BOOKS REVIEWED BY KIRKUS:

Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-0-9977028-0-4
Page count: 336pp

A doctor recounts his harrowing experience treating children with leukemia.

In 1964, Dr. G. Bennet Humphrey worked in the leukemia ward at the National Institute of Health in Maryland and was tasked with administering a drug protocol called POMP, an initialism that captured the four drugs it included: prednisolone, Oncovin, methotrexate, and Purinethol. While POMP could send leukemia into remission, effectively curing patients previously considered terminal, it also delivered debilitating side effects: toxicity, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, and infections, and it sometimes could result in fatality. Nevertheless, the author and his two colleagues, Dr. Gerald Sandler and Dr. Rick Lottsfeldt, were ordered by their supervisor, Dr. Emil “Jay” Freireich, to press on with the treatment. In some cases, in order to protect their patients from the effects of POMP, they violated protocol. The anguish of seeing young children suffer because of a treatment they loathed took an emotional toll on Humphrey and his colleagues: “I was tired of writing orders that could cause toxicity, tired of looking for toxicity all week long, tired of finding toxicity, and tired of watching patients die of toxicity.” The author details the year he spent working in pediatric oncology and discusses not only his clinical experience, but also the relationships he forged with his young patients and their parents, the friendships made with his two colleagues, and the diversions he turned to for solace from the pain of being a daily witness to suffering. Humphrey writes with impressive clarity even when discussing highly technical medical matters, and he poignantly expresses the visceral challenges of his work. He also adds another personal layer to the story by chronicling his romantic life at the time and the loneliness he felt but could not adequately communicate to others. The author’s remembrance is as moving as it is scientifically edifying.

An affecting, candid recollection about the human costs of medical research.