Hedley Mendez physician author

Drawing from a thirty-eight-year career in Emergency Medicine, Life in the Balance: Lessons Learned in the ER, offers deep insight and understanding of the patients, the nurses and the emergency physicians who find themselves in life and death situations.

For patients, the ER is an unfamiliar world. They’re scared, surrounded by strangers upon whose hands their very life depends. The doctor has to make critical decisions, often within minutes, with little or no information for guidance, as he or she treats the patient for the first time.

The thirty cases included in Life in the Balance: Lessons Learned in the ER illustrate how the staff struggles to stay abreast in a world of rapid medical advances and societal demands as they care for each person who comes to the Emergency Department. The reader also gets real insight into the profound stress emergency personnel endure every day and night.

Hedley Mendez grew up in South Florida. He is a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans, the University of Miami School of Medicine, and a Medical Internship at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami. Dr. Mendez served as a Flight Surgeon in the United States Air Force during the early 1970’s before beginning his career in Emergency Medicine. He became a diplomate of the American Board of Emergency Medicine and maintained board certification for over three decades.

Dr. Mendez practiced primarily in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, specifically Hampton General Hospital in Hampton and Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News. The final fourteen years of his career, however, found him doing something a little different: locum tenens medicine.

Locum tenens is Latin for to fill in, not unlike being a substitute teacher. Throughout Virginia and North Carolina, Dr. Mendez provided temporary coverage in Emergency Departments, most often in small, rural hospitals. But it wasn’t all work. He and his wife Liz bought a motorhome and together they traveled the roads from place to place before returning to their home in Poquoson, Virginia.

Winnebago Voyage, Subaru Forester in tow, complete with kayaks

Dr. Mendez retired in 2014, and he and Liz moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, where they have come to enjoy the relaxed lifestyle, beautiful beaches and wonderful people of Coastal Carolina.

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