Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine’s James Maskalyk makes it to the Canada Reads longlist

Jan 10, 2019

James Maskalyk - Life on the Ground FloorJames Maskalyk - Life on the Ground Floor (CBC Books) Department of Medicine professor James Maskalyk is among 15 authors who have been longlisted for CBC’s 2019 Canada Reads competition. His book Life on the Ground Floor chronicles Dr. Maskalyk’s career treating patients in emergency rooms around the world and is among the books that speak to this year’s theme: One Book to Move You.

In this deeply personal memoir, emergency medicine doctor and activist James Maskalyk draws upon his experience treating patients in the world's emergency rooms.

From Toronto to Addis Ababa, Cambodia to Bolivia, he discovers that although the cultures, resources and medical challenges of each hospital may differ, they are linked indelibly by the ground floor: the location of their emergency rooms.

Here, on the ground floor, is where Dr. Maskalyk witnesses the story of "human aliveness" — our mourning and laughter, tragedies and hopes, the frailty of being and the resilience of the human spirit. And it's here too that he is swept into the story, confronting his fears and doubts and questioning what it is to be a doctor.

Masterfully written and artfully structured, Life on the Ground Floor is more than just an emergency doctor's memoir or travelogue —it's a meditation on health, sickness and the wonder of human life. (From Doubleday Canada)