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March 21, 2013

7 Things Teens Can Do To Avoid the E.R.

Watch An Emergency Room View of Inner-City Health on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

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Emergency room physician Sampson Davis grew up in Newark, N.J., also known as “Brick City”– one of the toughest urban areas in the country. However, despite his circumstances, he made a pact with two of his high school friends to graduate from medical school.  Then after graduating, Dr. Davis returned to his home town to try and make a difference.

He describes his new book, “Living and Dying in Brick City,” as “part memoir, part self-help, part anecdotal”, and discusses why growing up in America’s poorest communities not only increases the chance for young people to make social missteps, but can also lead them to poor health and drastically shorter lives.

As an E.R. doctor, he treats young men and women every day, and has come up with seven things young people can do in order to stay out of the clinic:

  1. Learn How to Resolve Conflicts without Resorting to Guns
  2. Say No to Drugs
  3. Seek Help Early for Mental Health Issues
  4. Develop/Maintain Good Eating and Exercise Habits
  5. Report Domestic Violence and Avoid the Abuser
  6. Practice Safer Sex or Abstain
  7. Surround Yourself with Positive People

To read a more in-depth explanation of these seven steps, read the original blog post here.


Warm up questions

1. What are some major health concerns in your community?

2. What do you do to keep yourself healthy?

3. What health concerns might be different between rural and urban communities?

Discussion questions

1. Do you agree with Dr. Davis’s list? Would you add anything to it?

2. Do you think this list is applicable only to urban communities, or to everyone? Why?

3. Why do you think urban environments are particularly hard on young people?

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