Up the Down Escalator: Medicine, Motherhood, and Multiple Sclerosis (Not for Online)


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Health Communications
Publish Date
5.56 X 8.49 X 0.94 inches | 0.97 pounds

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About the Author

Lisa Doggett, MD, is a family physician, MS Warrior, and cofounder of Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility. She previously directed a safety net clinic in Austin, Texas, where she saw an eclectic mix of patients struggling with their own health challenges in a deeply dysfunctional system. A self-described health nut, Lisa was shocked to become a patient herself when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a bizarre neurologic disease known to be a leading cause of disability in young adults. Since her MS diagnosis in 2009, she has battled frustrating symptoms and insurance companies. She has experienced relapses and has explored alternative treatments. But she has also run two marathons, traveled to five continents, raised two daughters, and embraced her job as a lead physician creating innovative programs for people with chronic disease around the country. Lisa graduated from Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas School of Public Health. She has published in the New York Times, Motherwell, and the Austin American-Statesman. She is a columnist for Public Health Watch and blogs for the National MS Society's Momentum magazine. Lisa has been featured in Parents magazine, Women's World, and on CBS Sunday Morning. As a national thought leader and 2021-22 Vaccine Science Fellow with the American Academy of Family Physicians, she provides webinars, speaks at conferences, and contributes to articles on a variety of health topics, including stories in U.S. News and World Report, Reader's Digest, and Healthline. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband Don, a hospital-based pediatrician, and their two daughters, Ella and Clara.


"As someone who lives with MS, one of the most frustrating aspects of the disease is trying to explain the challenges I experience to friends and loved ones. The inability to easily communicate about living with MS often creates a sense of loneliness and frustration for those diagnosed with the chronic illness. Thankfully, Dr. Doggett's memoir clearly articulates what living with MS is like. Through her captivating story, she manages to bring visibility to an often invisible disease. Dr. Doggett writes with a vulnerability that is relatable and engaging. The stories of balancing being a parent, wife, and physician while combating a chronic illness will encourage any reader. Her memoir is a powerful story that motivates readers to live with empathy and courage. It inspires hope and brings about understanding for those who courageously live with MS. And as someone who has lived with MS for years, I am thankful Dr. Doggett is brave enough to share her story with the world."

--Sheldon Metz, MS Warrior and activist, chairman of Texas Government Relations Advisory Committee with the National MS Society
"In Up The Down Escalator, Dr. Lisa Doggett capably knits together her personal journey from loss to hope following her diagnosis of MS with the heart-wrenching stories of those she cared for with compassion and humility. She shows us the power of love and purpose against the odds of a disease that does not discriminate and a healthcare system that does."

--Léorah Freeman, MD, PhD, Neurologist and MS specialist, Dell Medical School, The University of Texas at Austin
"It is refreshing to read the perspective of Dr. Doggett and how she is handling MS clinically and personally. Her life-long dedication to medicine and compassionate fight to serve patients with MS is exemplified in this book. There is a great credibility when Dr. Doggett tells a patient "I understand." This has encouraged me as a person with MS, just to know a practicing physician truly gets it!"

-- Micah Love, MS warrior, activist, and author
"Lisa Doggett's thoughtful new memoir, Up the Down Escalator, offers rare and vital insights into a health care system that continues to leave too many behind. As a family physician contending with MS, Doggett offers a raw, heartfelt account of her struggles to sustain a small community clinic, confront her own health challenges, and raises awareness for those who have been ravaged by the system's inequities. This book demands attention from those who seek a more just and compassionate world and want to understand how to make it so."

-- Stacey Abrams, political leader, voting rights activist, and New York Times bestselling author
"Lisa Doggett writes candidly and with immense good humor and grace about her fears--for her health, her patients, her children, her husband--and her frustrations with same. She can be neurotic, unhappy, angry, but more than anything she is compassionate, strong, and always learning. To grab at our gut, a memoir must be fearless and unflinchingly honest. Funny helps, too. Doggett delivers, and how."

--Julie Powell, New York Times bestselling author of Julie and Julia
"A physician serving impoverished, uninsured patients, while coping with her own serious health problem, could be a story filled with darkness--but not this memoir. Instead, Dr. Lisa Doggett offers the consistent luminescence of compassion and hopefulness along with a much-needed vision for a more humane healthcare system. It is truly inspirational!"

--Ron Pollack, chair emeritus, formerly founding executive director, Families USA
"Texas native, Dr. Lisa Doggett's new memoir, Up the Down Escalator: A Doctor Navigates Disease and Disorder, brings rarely shared personal reflections of a compassionate primary care physician who provides health care to the poor and forgotten but must face her own unknown future when she receives a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In vivid details, Dr. Doggett shares her experiences as clinician, mother and wife through meaningful and intimate conversations, and personal monologues of internal thought processes and private emotional struggles. As a result, I came to reflect on my own privilege, clinical care experiences, periods of personal struggles, and the growing truth of my own vulnerability. Yet, Up the Down Escalator is inspiring and uplifting, for those curious about physicians with their own health challenges, or for those with the challenge of MS. But most all, Dr. Doggett's memoir speaks to all of us of that fragility of our human experience buoyed by the profound discovery of the power of our human spirit through love and our inner determination. A beautiful read!"

--David W. Willis, MD, FAAP, Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Director for the Nurture Connection Initiative
"To be heard, seen, and believed is what any person wants from a doctor. To have that doctor understand and share the exam table side of the doctor-patient relationship is rare and eye-opening. Lisa walks us through that progression in her career and personal life. A must read for doctors and patients alike."

--Lisa Sailor, MS and disability activist
"Lisa Doggett weaves together the complexity of being a physician, a parent, and a patient. In a book that will hold the reader's attention from the first page to the last, Doggett copes with the ordeal of getting a diagnosis and finding effective treatment, and the challenges of building a life and career with multiple sclerosis. One does not have to have MS to be inspired by this book and how Doggett shares her challenges with clarity, transparency and humility."

--Joy H. Selak, PhD, author of You Don't LOOK Sick! Living Well with Invisible Chronic Illness and CeeGee's Gift
"An affecting account of living fully with a difficult disease."-- Kirkus Reviews