Dr. Sampson Davis in Kalamazoo
HOSA 2015 Sampson Davis keynote
Sampson Davis, M.D. was raised as the fifth of six children in Newark, one of New Jersey’s poorest cities. As a child Davis grew-up in cramped living quarters, surrounded by fragmented families, crime and drugs. Still, he was a good student, able to strike the fragile balance between being smart yet socially acceptable on the streets. It was this combination of skills, Davis says, that were most critical to his survival.
While attending University High School in Newark, Davis met Dr. Rameck Hunt and Dr. George Jenkins, two fellow students who together made a promise to become doctors. Davis and his two childhood friends each successfully fulfilled their pact and today Davis is a board certified emergency medicine physician.
In February 2013, Davis released his latest book, Living & Dying in Brick City–An E.R. Doctor Returns Home. In addition to discussing Davis’ riveting experiences as an ER physician, the book also offers preventative guidance as a means of supporting healthier communities.
Davis has appeared on numerous talk and radio shows including Oprah, Dr. Oz, the Today show, The View, PBS NewsHour, Tavis Smiley and NPR as well as print publications including but not limited to Readers Digest, O Magazine, People, The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, Vibe and Black Enterprise.
Ms. Winfrey also delivered the highest honor naming Davis, “One of The Premiere Role Models of the World”.
Davis was honored in 2000 with the Essence “Lifetime Achievement Award” and also named one of their “40 most inspirational African Americans in the country”. He is the youngest physician to receive the National Medical Association’s highest honor, “The Scroll of Merit”, and was previously honored on the 2009 BET Awards.
Today, Davis spends his time practicing medicine and traveling the country delivering keynote speeches with timely messages. Davis believes it is important to give education a sense of style and fashion. To glorify and glamorize education is the key. A face must be present, a concrete image that all individuals across America can draw inspiration from. Davis considers his 3 D’s, Dedication, Determination and Discipline, as the necessary ingredients to success.
Graduating with honors, Davis received his bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University, his medical degree from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at the same hospital where he was born, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
Today, Davis is a board certified emergency medicine physician at St. Michaels Medical Center in Newark New Jersey. He has been a weekly correspondent on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and a frequent guest on CNN where he focuses on prevalent and life-changing medical topics. Davis has also co-authored New York Times best-selling books, The Pact, We Beat the Street and The Bond.
In 2000, during his residency, Davis along with his best friends felt the burning need to give back to communities in need, and together created The Three Doctors Foundation. This non-profit organization offers a series of free public programs focused upon health, education, leadership and mentoring.
The Sports Scholar
It this speech, Dr. Sampson Davis speaks about the importance of staying active. You must always keep moving. In life, aim to never retire; rather, switch gears into another pursuit of passion. As a teenager, Dr. Davis played high school baseball and even had visions of a professional sports career. It was the adrenaline of sports that helped his academics. The energy and excitement after exercising or taking part in sports-related activities release happy hormones from the brain known as endorphins. It is the body endorphins that helped drive Dr. Davis in his academics by allowing him to focus and push through long hours of studying. It is important to have balance in life. Playing sports and exercising is fun; not only do you gain the benefit of exercising from a healthy view point but the activity also spills over into other sectors of life. In this case, sports enabled Dr. Davis to focus more on his academics. Sports also kept him busy during tempting days of growing up on the streets of Newark. Never want a youth or an adult to sit idle.
I Have a Dream
Dr. Sampson Davis strongly believes we all have a dream. But what happens when the dream is interrupted or comes to a halt. How does one bounce back? How does one believe it is possible to achieve the unimaginable? In this speech, Dr. Davis will inspire all to remain vigilant in the pursuit of their dreams. Giving up is not an option. Work with what you have in place and believe you can make it happen. Dr. Davis will share his obstacles and pitfalls and how he never allowed his dream to be deferred even when faced with sure defeat. He will share the struggles he faced along the way. A college professor once told him to switch majors and that he wasn’t cut out to be a doctor. He dealt with personal tragedies in his family, from addiction to watching his sister lose her life to a health battle. Dr. Davis remained firm in knowing he could achieve success and it was his sister’s fight for life that inspired him to keep pushing.
Making the Case for the Affordable Care Act (ACA): An ER Doctor’s Perspective
Through riveting personal and medical stories, Dr. Sampson Davis provides a never-before-seen look at health care in America, presenting not only the issues but also the complicated lives behind the statistics. Dr. Davis also looks at the ACA—how it may draw more doctors and nurses to return to abandoned areas of America, while technical barriers keep many patients form even signing up. Dr. Davis shares stories about the health care industry and how it personally affected his family. His father, diagnosed with prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s, turned to him to guide him through the stages of the health care system.
The Power of Education—Investing in Your Most Precious Commodity
As the first member in his family to attend college, Dr. Sampson Davis speaks candidly about how education saved his life. Aiming to become “the Michael Jordan of education,” Dr. Davis inspires high school, college and graduate students alike to remain steadfast in their pursuit of academics. Referencing stories from his best-selling books The Pact, The Bond and We Beat the Street, Dr. Davis will inspire all students in their pursuit of academic achievement. His blueprint toward higher education has served as a resource for community-wide reads, grammar school and high school assemblies, college first year experience lectures, college-themed talks and commencement speeches.
Success—what does it look like? How does one achieve it? Dr. Sampson Davis speaks adamantly about success. The first necessary step is to seek out like-minded friends to form a pact. When pursuing a goal, it is vital to have a team approach. This solidarity helps to drive you and keep one motivated especially during moments where you want to give up. We all need a muse. Show me a successful person and I will show you his successful circle. The pact approach is what saved Dr. Davis’ life, when he and his two friends made a promise to each other to become doctors. This oath pushed him beyond his conceivable limits. He never realized he could reach such heights but knowing he was going to be held accountable served as motivation. Simply, he didn’t want to disappoint his two friends. If we are able to form pacts across the country towards a common goal, then we can begin to achieve insurmountable success. His story of overcoming unfathomable odds is chronicled in his New York Times best seller The Pact.
Your Health Matters
As a practicing ER physician, Dr. Sampson Davis focuses on steps needed so one doesn’t land in the ER. He speaks candidly about health issues plaguing our communities and addresses firsthand the preventative measures required to defeat diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cancer, prescription drug abuse, heart disease and much more. His speech embodies the philosophy, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Dr. Davis has chronicled these important health issues in his book Living and Dying in Brick City. He addresses ailments ranging from common medical issues to the most life-threatening circumstances. Here are some examples:
- How to I avoid the common cold?
- How do you treat the flu? Should I get the flu shot?
- Should I vaccinate my children?
- How do I know if I’m having a heart attack?
- How can I recognize an addiction? Where do I find help? How do I tell my family?
- What is depression? Is there a stigma? Why is it important to seek medical help?
- When should I have a mammogram, a colonoscopy, a heart stress test and a check-up?
In this motivational speech, Dr. Sampson Davis speaks about growing up in one of New Jersey’s poorest cities, and his journey toward becoming an emergency medicine physician. With stories shared from his latest book, Living and Dying in Brick City, Dr. Davis explains how his city earned its nickname—Brick
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