Monday, March 22, 2010

"A deaf child? I can't have one of those"

Dr. Philip Zazove has a new book out called Four Days in Michigan. The fictional work is about the differences between people in the "deaf" and "Deaf" communities. His 1994 autobiography is titled When the Phone Rings, My Bed Shakes. Here's some background on Dr. Zazove.

Zazove became just the third certified deaf physician in the U.S. in 1981.

He's now a Specialist in family medicine at Michigan's University Hospital in Ann Arbor.

Diagnosed with profound hearing loss at the age of four, he had learned to speak English before losing his hearing.

He was the first deaf child to be mainstreamed in the northern Chicago suburbs even though teachers would say, "A deaf child? I can't have one of those."

Zazove attended Northwestern University in 1969 and although he had excellent grades, he applied to 18 medical schools and every one of them turned him down. But after earning his Masters, Rutgers accepted him. The only one of 30 to do so. He later switched to Washington University in St. Louis where he met his wife who is a also a physician herself.

They have two daughters: Katie, 26, and Rebecca, 28.

In 1989, he became the first deaf physician to work in the state of Michigan.

About 2,500 patients come to him and about one out of ten of them have hearing loss. Since he knows sign language, some deaf patients drive hours to see him.

In 2007, he received a cochlear implant but it didn't work well. He got another one in 2008 which helped but he still relies heavily on lip reading.