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    Dr. Salvatore J. Forcina, MD

    The American Doctor

    An amazing and inspirational story of love, struggle, success and life. A must read!!!

Meet the author

Dr. Salvatore J. Forcina, MD

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The American Doctor is the memoir of Dr. Salvatore J. Forcina and describes his quest to become a medical doctor. The work is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Following the incredible life story and achievements of the author, we begin with a young Salvatore in Italy, whose parents migrated to Argentina in the hope of a better life after the horrors of the Second World War. Sent to live with Redemptorist priests for a chance to further his education, this intriguing and heartfelt memoir tells a tale of learning to survive and thrive against all odds to achieve one’s dreams.

Dr. Salvatore J. Forcina had an unusual pathway into the world of medicine, and it's one that readers will be fascinated to learn about in this heartfelt and detailed memoir. One of the things I enjoyed most about this work was the author’s positivity and balanced perspective, as he delivers a life’s tale that could quickly have become a very sad story indeed. Forcina does so with an air of hope and determination. This is a memoir that reinforces the spirit of working toward a better tomorrow and always believing in yourself, which is a valuable lesson that a lot of people need when faced with difficult circumstances in their lives, no matter what age they are. I would not hesitate to recommend The American Doctor to fans of well-penned, earnest memoirs about struggle, survival, and determination, especially those who have an interest in cross-cultural perspectives and the medical field.

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Book Review

  • Gaudium
    5 out of 5
    A man born in Italy during World War II recalls his immigration to the United States and his life as an American surgeon.

    Forcina, currently a retiree living in central Florida, was born in the small Italian town of Scauri and raised in Argentina, where, as a young man, he studied to become a doctor. After graduating, he saw no future for himself in the South American country, so he immigrated to the United States, where he worked hard and had a successful medical career, reaching the status of chief of surgery at two New Jersey hospitals. He married his American wife, Roberta, in the mid-1970s and soon had a daughter; now in his late 70s, he says that he wrote this book to document the ups and downs of his life for his granddaughter, who he hopes “will read this book as a source of guidance. I wish for her to know that life will throw many things at her….I hope this book will serve as a guide for her.” To other potential readers, he also seeks to impart a lesson: “Remember that no matter what, and no matter how difficult the path may be, you can and will succeed.” Over the course of this remembrance, Forcina shows that he led an exemplary life and recalls it all with touching gratitude and affection. The prose is clear and straightforward, and he painstakingly re-creates everyday events as well as notable moments of sorrow and achievement—the many elements that make up a good life. The high note of the memoir comes when the author is discussing how his immigration to the United States gave him a sense of stability: “For many years I had lived in limbo, with great uncertainty. I was no one in particular and felt like a boat lost in the open sea at the mercy of the wind. Those feelings left me the moment I raised my right hand and pledged my allegiance to America.”

    An affecting life story that the author’s family and friends are likely to treasure.
  • Maryann Namayi
    4 out of 5
    The American Doctor, a memoir by Salvatore J. Forcina, provides an inspirational account of the author's journey to success. The memoir begins with recounting his upbringing in Scauri, a small town in Italy's Lazio region, and the historical significance of his birthplace. Forcina's father played a pivotal role in shaping his character. This story reflects on his father's triumphs and struggles as an uneducated laborer during wartime. Despite these challenges, discipline remained a powerful tool in guiding his decision-making. Forcina also expresses gratitude to his maternal grandfather, Giovanni, who was humble, hardworking, and peaceful. It is a story of perseverance and overcoming adversity. Through his experiences, we gain a deeper understanding of the challenges those who strive for success face. By sharing his story, he hopes to inspire others to pursue their dreams and positively impact the world.

    Salvatore J. Forcina emphasizes the importance of preserving the knowledge passed down from previous generations. War is a prominent theme in this book, with Forcina exploring its psychological aftermath, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its impact on society. It also sheds light on regional political decisions and their consequences. The American Doctor examines contemporary societal issues and underscores the importance of working together to create a cohesive community. It provides a unique perspective on the journey to success. Its exploration of themes such as family, discipline, war, and community offers valuable insights into the human experience. It is a must-read for anyone seeking inspiration and guidance toward personal growth and fulfillment.
  • Foluso Falaye
    5 out of 5
    In The American Doctor, Salvatore J. Forcina looks back at various crucial moments in his life to provide lessons for his grandchild and his readers. Now age 79, Salvatore is a retired general and vascular surgeon, after serving as the Chief of Surgery at two North Jersey hospitals for years and treating thousands of patients. At just 8, he joined his father in Argentina with his brother and mother to escape the harsh consequences of World War II in Italy. He had to learn a new language and a new way of life while struggling to find his identity. Salvatore developed a strong will to succeed, despite his early life hurdles, which led him to join his uncle's family in the USA. There, he worked to build a career in medicine and get a taste of the American dream.

    Salvatore's meticulous writing helped me develop a deeper understanding of humanity and history. He doesn't just rush through the historical and personal events. He takes time to share their impact on him and the people around him. For example, we see, through his profound reflections, how his discovery of orchestral music gave him a place of refuge as a survivor of bombings and psychologically harmful religious exposure. The American Doctor is a truly captivating book that includes several intriguing themes - including Italian food, friendship, loss, prejudice, family, cancer, medicine, and jealousy. This genuinely heartwarming and inspiring memoir about a life well-lived is recommended to medical professionals and fans of intriguing memoirs about family and building a rewarding career. Young readers of 18 years and older should make sure to read this gem and find mentorship in Salvatore J. Forcina's wise and highly introspective words.
  • Grace Ruhara
    5 out of 5
    The American Doctor by Dr. Salvatore J. Forcina, M.D., is an account of Dr. Salvatore’s life experiences before becoming a successful surgeon. Born into a low-income family, his family moved to Argentina from Italy for a better life. Though his parents were still struggling, they were loving and supportive. Salvatore was determined to change his life and worked hard to achieve his goals. After graduating from Estenbun Echeveria Secondary, he enrolled at the Universidad de La Plata. He graduated before returning to his motherland, hoping to find greener pastures. However, he had to get his degree accepted by the Italian government before looking for work. He, therefore, had to have his diploma certified and recertified by authorities in Argentina. These had to be translated into Italian, and he would also need to sit for four exams, which was disappointing and frustrating. Luckily, his cousin urged him to move to the United States, where he further realized his diploma and degree were not recognized there, thus compelling him to pass the ECFMG exams, which he initially failed. After retaking the ECFMG exams and passing, he could apply to hospitals and start his specialization. He overcame all these adversities with his family’s help and became a renowned surgeon.

    Born during World War II, Dr. Salvatore J. Forcina, M.D., narrates the challenges and injustices his motherland encountered, such as the rape of women, murder, fear, and emigration in search of stability and growth. This historical background would be appreciated by those who love reading historical works. Dr. Salvatore is a testimony that, in times of difficulty and uncertainty, one should persevere through the challenges while still working hard to attain one's goals. I recommend The American Doctor to readers going through life challenges since Dr. Salvatore’s experiences will equip them with courage, hope, and determination to make stepping stones out of their stumbling blocks.
  • Joanne Ang
    5 out of 5
    The American Doctor by Dr. Salvatore J. Forcina is a memoir of his personal struggles growing up with the aftereffects of World War II. Born in a small town in Italy called Scauri, life had always been harsh and unpredictable. At the age of eight, his family decided to migrate to Argentina, a fast-growing country at the time, hoping for a more stable future and better opportunities. After the big move, his life isn’t as easy as he hoped it would be as he overcomes the trials and tribulations of living with a Redemptorist priest as his only way to receive an education. Salvatore was keen on finding a way to pursue his passion in the medical field, despite his unfavorable beginning in life, and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

    The American Doctor by Dr. Salvatore J. Forcina is a memoir that focuses on having a strong will and perseverance despite your circumstances, which will leave many readers feeling motivated for the next big change in their lives. I loved how this book shows that the situation you were born in does not dictate the rest of your life. Anything is possible when you try hard enough, even if it takes beating all odds to change your destiny. This book also teaches you to embrace the unpredictability of life and to keep pushing through no matter the challenges ahead. The writing style is clear and descriptive, creating a wonderfully immersive reading experience. This book felt like I was reliving the author’s life. I cannot recommend this book enough for those looking for an emotional rollercoaster ride.

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