NEVER QUESTION THE MIRACLE by Rose-Marie Toussaint

NEVER QUESTION THE MIRACLE

A Surgeon's Story
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A soft-focus picture of how a determined young black woman made her way into the virtually all white, male world of transplant surgery. As a young child in Haiti, Toussaint was told by an old voodoo priest that she would become a physician and surgeon, a prediction that this former assistant director of the Howard University Hospital Transplant Center never forgot. Before revealing just how she made the prediction come true, she sketchily illustrates what the work of a liver transplant specialist involves by telling the stories of a couple of her patients. In the narration of her life that follows, an account that, despite the assistance of writer and editor Santaniello, is curiously short on specific details, such as names, dates, places, and schools she attended, there are a number of well-remembered scenes, but overall, the story has a vexing blurriness. She does, however, recall certain turning points clearly: her encounter with a high-school guidance counselor who tried vainly to direct her to technical school rather than a four-year college with pre-med courses, her post-college interview for a lowly job as lab-technician college, and a year later her medical school interview. Especially vivid is her recollection of an operating room incident in which she, a humble resident, takes quick action to avert a disaster and wins the chief surgeon's notice and approval. Glimpses of her love life and of her Haitain family add dimension to what remains, however, a shadowy self-portrait. Despite its shortcomings, Toussaint's story delivers a message not about miracles, but about hard work, dedication and persistence, good mentors, and, yes, some lucky breaks--a message not just for young black women, but for all young women fighting to win a place in a male profession. (Author tour)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-345-40723-7
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: One World/Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1997




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