“Over the years, I have made an uneasy truce with failure,” says Campbell in the opening pages of his debut anthology, and yet his stories are anything but. Captivating, heart-wrenching, inspiring—he chooses his words as meticulously as he conducts his surgeries. And it’s just like a surgeon to keep you up in the middle of the night. “One more story,” you’ll tell yourself, but with Campbell’s reflections, it’s hard to stop. There’s a familiar ease with which he flourishes his pen; everything falls away, and it’s almost as if you’re sitting across the table from him as he recalls. You laugh when he laughs, you cry when he cries, and you wait as he waits. His memoir of stories is sure to become a rite of passage for future doctors and patients alike, enjoyable little tunes that all hum together in a harmony of sound. Turning the last page of Campbell’s novel, I succumb to my own “fullness of uncertain significance”—I have been charged to seek meaning, to reflect, to sit in the silence of his reverberating truths.
—Olivia Davies, MD, poet, writer, and dermatology resident at Massachusetts General Hospital
From Dr. Campbell:
I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Davies when she was a medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She was actively engaged in the humanities throughout her time in Milwaukee, served as an associate editor to the Kern Transformational Times newsletter, and was the driving force behind MCW's Common Read, the first time that the entire institution read and discussed a single book. She is an exceptionally gifted writer and leader. Despite my best efforts to convince her to become an otolaryngologist, she is on her way to becoming an outstanding dermatologist in the Harvard Combined Dermatology Training Program. Follow her at @oliviamdavies and https://www.instagram.com/livtd/ because, if for no other reason, she tried to explain social media to me.
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