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Growing up in Newark, New Jersey, Dr. Sampson Davis was surrounded by poverty, broken families and drug-related crime. He managed to walk the tightrope between being smart and socially acceptable in a rough neighborhood, and he and two childhood friends made a pact that they would all become medical doctors. They all achieved their dream, and Dr. Davis is now a board certified Emergency Medicine Physician.

As well as following his vocation as a physician at St Michael's Medical Centre in Newark, Dr. Davis is in huge demand as a writer, guest and keynote speaker. He shares his experiences of growing up in the ghetto and his solutions to help the poorest communities break out of the cycle of crime, poverty and drugs.

Dr. Davis' many media appearances have included the Oprah Winfrey show, Dr. Oz, The Today Show, The View, PBS News Hour, Tavis Smiley and NPR. He has also appeared in Readers Digest, O Magazine, People, Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, Vibe, and Black Enterprise, amongst many others. Oprah Winfrey named Dr. Davies as “One of The Premier Role Models of the World."

In his latest book, Living & Dying in Brick City—An E.R. Doctor Returns Home, Dr. Davis discusses his life as an ER physician and offers his ideas for improving the health of the poorest communities. His previous co-authored books about his and his friends' dreams of becoming a doctor, The Pact, We Beat the Street, and The Bond, were all New York Times bestsellers.

Dr. Davis and his two friends have now created the Three Doctors Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to free public programs in the realms of health, education, leadership and mentoring. He believes that education is the key to alleviating poverty, and that to do so it must be glorified and glamorized so that young people will be inspired to better themselves.

Full Profile

Dr. Sampson Davis was raised as the fifth of six children in Newark, one of New Jersey’s poorest cities. As a child, Dr. 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, Dr. Davis says, that were most critical to his survival.

While attending University High School in Newark, Dr. Davis met Dr. Rameck Hunt and Dr. George Jenkins, two fellow students who together made a promise to become doctors. Dr. Davis and his two childhood friends each successfully fulfilled their pact, and today Dr. Davis is a board certified Emergency Medicine Physician.

In February 2013 Dr. Davis released his newest book, Living & Dying in Brick City—An E.R. Doctor Returns Home. In addition to discussing Dr. Davis’ riveting experiences as an ER physician, the book also offers preventative guidance as a means of supporting healthier communities.

Dr. Davis has appeared on numerous talk and radio shows including Oprah, Dr. Oz, The Today Show, The View, PBS News Hour, Tavis Smiley and NPR as well as print publications including but not limited to Readers Digest, O Magazine, People, Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, Vibe, and Black Enterprise.

Ms. Winfrey also delivered the highest honor naming Dr. Davis, “One of The Premiere Role Models of the World”.

Dr. Davis was honored in 2000 with the Essence Lifetime Achievement Award and also named one of their forty 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 Dr. Davis spends his time practicing medicine and traveling the country delivering keynote speeches with timely messages. Dr. 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. Dr. Davis considers his 3 D’s, Dedication, Determination and Discipline, as the necessary ingredients to success.

Graduating with honors, Dr. 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, Dr. Davis is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician at St. Michaels Medical Center in Newark NJ. 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. Dr. 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, Dr. 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.

Dr. Sampson Davis ON Speaking Back to top


I encourage my audiences to find like-minded individuals to formulate a network similar to what my two friends and I did when we made our pact [to become doctors].

SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn / take away from your presentations?

DAVIS: I want the audience to leave my presentations feeling inspired and moved to take action. Whether it is in pursuit of a dream or helping to lend a hand to another, I want all in attendance to feel a need to move immediately and swiftly with next steps in achieving their purpose. If I am able to serve as a spark in that moment then my purpose has been fulfilled.

I encourage my audiences to find like-minded individuals to formulate a network similar to what my two friends and I did when we made our pact [to become doctors]. I want to help audiences prevent naysayers from entering their space. Turn them away. Let the haters hate while you believe in you and your mission. And once you have achieved your goal, never forget to give back. One of the greatest joys in life is paying it forward. It is a simple action that enriches your world beyond measures.

SPEAKING.COM:What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

DAVIS: I do a great deal of reading; biographies and relevant materials to stay current and to enhance my knowledge. I am active on social media and interact with similar ambitious minds. During my travels, I listen to music and review my notes in preparation for an event. Overall, the most important step I take in preparation is during the talk itself. I lose myself in the moment and allow myself to become one with the audience. I am good at connecting and delivering talks that resonate with everyone in attendance.

SPEAKING.COM: Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?

DAVIS: I always leave an event feeling like it was my best speech ever. I have been honored and humbled in receiving tremendous testimonials from all ages and types of clients.

I had one parent approach me during a talk and told me her 8-year-old son reminded her every day that I would be appearing at a venue on a certain date. He went as far as to hang a picture of my two friends and me on his bedroom wall. A grandmother once told me that right next to the Bible on her nightstand was a copy of my book, The Pact. Students have emphatically and convincingly told me they hate to read but they finished one of my books – reading it cover to cover.

And then there is the excitement after a talk with individuals rushing the stage for individual or group photos. Some ask me to sign their books, scraps of paper, notebooks, book bags, sweaters, jackets, t-shirts, and even body parts (an arm being the obvious choice). Young people have changed lyrics in songs and replaced them with my name or “Brick City,” or The Pact or three doctors, demonstrating their talent in incorporating a positive message with a rhythmic tune.

Educators have expressed appreciation to me for writing a book that students are excited to read. Some teachers have even made displays of my 3 D’s in their school hallways and carved out life size cardboard images of me in my white lab coat and stethoscope.

These are a few reflections that I carry with me and they continue to energize me during my travels. It is a joy and an honor to experience the excitement from audiences and each moment is permanently filed in my memory.

Each audience is different and I focus on what is important to the listeners, whether it is a college student or business professional. Everyone needs inspiration and motivation and I take great pride in delivering that type of message.

SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

DAVIS: All audiences benefit from an inspirational moment. I do see a natural fit with high schools, colleges and graduate schools. I also experience a strong connection with community, professional, educational, health, business, pharmaceutical, and social-related organizations.

I have served as keynote for The Boys and Girls Club, Costco, Prudential, Booz Allen Hamilton, Thrivent Financial, hundreds of colleges, universities and high schools delivering themed speeches, commencement talks, first year experiences and community-wide readings. I have also taken part in countless annual gala experiences. Each audience is different and I focus on what is important to the listeners, whether it is a college student or business professional. Everyone needs inspiration and motivation and I take great pride in delivering that type of message.

SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?

DAVIS: My favorite topic would have to be educational based. It is important to make education fashionable and impress upon today’s youth the importance of achieving academic success. It is vital to their livelihood and the progression of our Nation.

SPEAKING.COM:How much do case studies, personal stories and/or humor factor into your keynote speech content?

DAVIS: I share something personal in every speech I deliver. I believe in connecting and being relatable to the audience. I am a flawed human like everyone else, and once I share that aspect, the audience knows that I am real.

I use stats and case studies to drive home a point; whether it is a high school drop out rate of 1.2 million students a year or a medical statistic, these numbers are important. And yes, a bit of humor goes a long way in making a speech memorable. Who doesn’t like to laugh? If I’m successful, even in the smallest way possible in reaching and connecting with a group, I feel like I am living out my purpose, my passion in life.

SPEAKING.COM:What are some of the successes you've helped clients make?

DAVIS: After a speech, many students reach out to me via social media to ask for advice on school, as well as their career and life paths. I’ve helped many individuals find that “thing” that spoke to them as an individual. In that space, I have served as a counselor and mentor lending suggestions and approaches to goals.

I’ve helped countless medical students with preparation for medical board exams as well as discovering their specialty. Through conversation, I’ve been able to help many find their calling, their passion.

Many people are looking to manage their personal health better. I’ve been able to help serve as a catalyst to those looking to take charge of their health in understanding, managing and finding the right team of doctors.

And last, across the board, I’ve been able to spark audiences of all ages and backgrounds to be the best they can be. Some people that have attended my speeches have gone back to school, applied for a job promotion, changed their career path and/or decided to lend support to another. Ultimately whatever the trepidation was prior, I’ve been able to encourage the person to move forward, erase fear and start pursing the life they want right now. It is a great blessing and honor to be a part of a person’s manifestation.


Dr. Sampson Davis Speaker Videos Back to top

Dr. Sampson Davis Speech Excerpt


“You can't see the finish line, it's hidden, like it's behind a curtain or something, but you just push through that little bit more and you're over the finish line." Dr. Sampson Davis encourages young people to have belief in themselves and to push through no matter what the circumstances to achieve success.

Dr. Sampson Davis: National Student Assembly Speech


Dr. Sampson Davis Speech Excerpt



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Dr. Davis draws on his own incredible story of rising from the poverty of Newark to become one of America's most highly regarded physicians and black role models to inspire and motivate his audience. He will leave you feeling that absolutely anything is possible if you want it enough.

In addition to his inspirational speeches, Dr. Davis uses his specialties to talk on the future of medical care in the USA and the ways in which society can and must bridge the gap between the quality of medical care available to the rich and poor.

Suggested Program Titles:

    Living & Dying in Brick City: An ER Doctor Returns Home

    The Future of Medical Care

    The Medical Gap





Exclusive Interview with Dr. Sampson Davis

It is important to make education fashionable and impress upon today’s youth the importance of achieving academic success. It is vital to their livelihood and the progression of our Nation.
Dr. Sampson Davis discusses:
  • Some of the main challenges and opportunities faced in healthcare today.
  • Healthcare technology trends you see emerging within the next ten years.
  • Ways of improving healthcare for the poorest communities.
  • How to keep motivated pursuing your goal.
  • The importance of education.
  • The three D’s of success.

  • * Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    Living and Dying in Brick City

    Living and Dying in Brick City: An E.R. Doctor Returns Home
    A riveting personal exploration of the healthcare crisis facing inner-city communities, written by an emergency room physician who grew up in the very neighborhood he is now serving

    Sampson Davis is best known as one of three friends from inner-city Newark who made a pact in high school to become doctors. Their book The Pact and their work through the Three Doctors Foundation have inspired countless young men and women to strive for goals they otherwise would not have dreamed they could attain. In this book, Dr. Davis looks at the healthcare crisis in the inner city from a rare perspective: as a doctor who works on the front line of emergency medical care in the community where he grew up, and as a member of that community who has faced the same challenges as the people he treats every day. He also offers invaluable practical advice for those living in such communities, where conditions like asthma, heart disease, stroke, obesity, and AIDS are disproportionately endemic.

    Dr. Davis’s sister, a drug addict, died of AIDS; his brother is now paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair as a result of a bar fight; and he himself did time in juvenile detention—a wake-up call that changed his life. He recounts recognizing a young man who is brought to the E.R. with critical gunshot wounds as someone who was arrested with him when he was a teenager during a robbery gone bad; describes a patient whose case of sickle-cell anemia rouses an ethical dilemma; and explains the difficulty he has convincing his landlord and friend, an older woman, to go to the hospital for much-needed treatment. With empathy and hard-earned wisdom, Living and Dying in Brick City presents an urgent picture of medical care in our cities. It is an important resource guide for anyone at risk, anyone close to those at risk, and anyone who cares about the fate of our cities.


    Suggested Program Titles:

      Living & Dying in Brick City: An ER Doctor Returns Home

      The Future of Medical Care

      The Medical Gap



    Dr. Sampson Davis Speech Excerpt


    “You can't see the finish line, it's hidden, like it's behind a curtain or something, but you just push through that little bit more and you're over the finish line." Dr. Sampson Davis encourages young people to have belief in themselves and to push through no matter what the circumstances to achieve success.

    Dr. Sampson Davis: National Student Assembly Speech


    Dr. Sampson Davis Speech Excerpt



    Fostering Equal Access to Healthcare with Dr. Sampson Davis

    By Dr. Sampson Davis

    Let’s make education popular. Let’s “glorify and glamorize” it. Education is the new cool! After all, students have a better chance of becoming an engineer, architect, lawyer, or doctor than becoming the next LeBron James or singing sensation, Beyoncé. SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the main challenges and opportunities faced in healthcare today? DAVIS: There ... more

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