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Never Question the Miracle: A Surgeon's Story Hardcover – February 24, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Since her poor childhood in Haiti, where a voodoo priest told her that she would become a physician and a surgeon, Toussaint struggled to achieve that goal. Guided by faith in herself and her destiny, she survived bouts of self-doubt, tenuous finances, indifferent or hostile classmates and professors, career setbacks, and personal losses. While sometimes shaken by circumstances, her belief was reconfirmed by both everyday and extraordinary miracles. How the little girl who was supposed to become a nun became a transplant surgeon instead is an inspiring story of hard work and dedication and a reminder of the difference every individual can make in others' lives. Recommended for larger public libraries and health collections.?Anne C. Tomlin, Auburn Memorial Hosp.,
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

In Toussaint's homeland, Haiti, a voodoo priest told her when she was seven that she would become a surgeon. There were no physicians in her immediate family, but she saw many black Haitian doctors, scientists, and engineers, so the prediction didn't seem impossible. Her family moved to the U.S., and while in high school she volunteered much time at a local hospital. That experience and her mother's firm support helped her overcome many obstacles. Rejected at first by all the medical schools to which she applied, she spent a year working in a lab. When a second chance at med school worked out, she obtained her M.D. and embarked on her surgical career, which involved surmounting obstacles put in her way because she was a woman and black. Ultimately, the surgeon in charge of the liver transplant program at a Washington, D.C., hospital in which she had served a residency chose her to succeed him. Toussaint tells her story in a personal, self-understanding manner that makes it a pleasure to read. William Beatty
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 377 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (February 24, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345407237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345407238
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,676,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alicia Forry on November 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Rose-Marie Toussaint's autobiographical novel Never Question the Miracle: A Surgeon's Story is a touching tale about the struggles of an African American woman whose lifelong dream is to become a surgeon. In plain and soemtimes simple language, Toussaint transports the reader to various times in her life, each fraught with strong and unique emotion. Toussaint shies away from nothing in this detailed account of her personal triumph over numerous obstacles such as her troubled childhood in Haiti, her draining years at college as a pre-med student, her failed relationships and her long years in residency. It is the story of a journey through life and the importance of not giving up hope.
The book begins with Toussaint struggling amid the limitations of transplant surgery. She tells of sick patients desperately in need of a liver transplant but too poor to afford one, while in another hospital a wealthy patient who lacks the will to survive is given preference because the family can afford to pay for the transplant. She tells of the reality of organ transplantation, how doctors have to fight with insurance companies to convince them to authorize the operations. These social injustices and bureaucratic intricacies of the medical world show the reader that there is much to question about the system. She aligns herself on the side of the poor, often times African American patients, whom she sympathizes with since she herself has had to overcome similar barriers.
The author then turns the spotlight on herself and begins with her autobiography which starts in Haiti; it is a childhood marked by poverty and a strong sense of religion, a blend of both Christianity and voodoo.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Rose-Marie is a friend of mine. Because she is humble and unassuming, I had only a hint of what a treasure load of talent, inspiration and skill she really is. Her book tells her story - a young woman from Haiti, literally pulling herself up by her own boot straps to become a surgeon at Howard University Hospital specializing in liver transplant surgery. She has met every challenge that blacks and women must meet, and she has conquered them all with brilliance and understanding. I hope you have time to look at her book. It's a real inspiration for young people with dreams.
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Format: Hardcover
Reads like a fantastic novel! Meet Dr. Toussaint at holisticdoctor.org
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