Dr. Salber does me great honor in inviting this short introduction
to her superb collection of autobiographical essays.
As a wise and compassionate physician she has something
important to say to the scientific and medical communities at a
time when wisdom and compassion would serve each well.
Dr. Salber and I have been friends for almost ten years. We
became acquainted during my term as Provost of Duke Univer-
sity. I had an opportunity then to review the manuscript of her
last book Don't Send Me Flowers When I'm Dead: Voices of Rural
Elderly, a study of the rural elderly in North Carolina told in the
words of the people whom she was studying, and to recommend
its publication to Duke University Press. I take special pride in
the fact that the book has done extremely well as a Press offering.
Each of the present autobiographical essays is built around
her reactions to apartheid in her native South Africa, her compas-
sion for the poor and the underprivileged, and her observations
about poverty, health-care delivery, and medicine in that coun-
try, Great Britain, and the United States. Each essay is beautifully
and sensitively written and deals not only with the substance
of the events covered, but also with the author's thought-
provoking, sometimes disturbing, sometimes amusing, always
touching, feelings as a physician and as a woman in what has
traditionally been a male profession. The present volume chroni-
cles a stimulating engagement with real world problems-very
much a book of the head, it is also very much an affair of the heart.
Dr. Salber is a remarkable person-gentle, thoughtful, com-
passionate, but also tough-minded and strong. Her essays pro-
vide a great deal of insight into what it was like to grow up Jewish
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