Malcolm Sayer
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Malcolm Sayer

Awakenings

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About Him

Grew up... loving science. Dr. Sayer claims he can date his interest in science when he was seven. After coming across the periodic table of elements, he memorized it. And as he says, "I remember feeling a comfort that I've pursued ever since."

Living... in the Bronx where he works in a poor private chronic hospital.

Profession... neurologist. He treats patients who all survived encephalitis in the epidemic in the 1920s. They now just stare into space with blank expressions, but he thinks that their minds are still working. Dr. Sayer is treating them with a new drug. L-Dopa replenishes a chemical called dopamine in their brains, hopefully making it possible for these patients to join the world again.

Challenge... caring for his patients. Thankfully, his patients are responding to the treatment he has given them. One patient is amazed how much the Bronx has changed over decades. He and the other patients are living life finally. But what if the treatment does not last? As Dr. Sayer points out, "How kind is it to give life, only to take it away?"

Personality... anti-social and awkward. Even though he cares about his patients, he's not good around people. Dr. Sayer can be blunt and stiff with the patient’s relatives, but his true self is shown when he is with the patients. Deep down, he is daring and caring.

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