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Book Review: Alright, Let’s Call it a Draw; The Life of John Pryor

Issue 3 and Volume 38.

John P. Pryor, MD, FACS, former trauma program director for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, JEMS author and JEMS Editorial Board member, was killed by an enemy mortar round in Mosul, Iraq on Christmas morning of 2008. This posthumous biography, penned by John’s younger brother, Richard, is a moving and in-depth look into the life of an EMT turned trauma surgeon. It provides a rarely written view of the motivation and dedication behind heroic behavior.

John Pryor’s journey began as a humble EMT in upstate New York. Like many JEMS readers, an inner voice compelled John to serve his fellow man. Ultimately, he decided that he wanted to be a surgeon. This seemingly impossible dream led him to Grenada in the Caribbean, Buffalo, N.Y., and Philadelphia as well as onto the pile at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Reading this book helps one realize that anything can be accomplished once you set your mind to doing so. It’s also a powerful and sometimes painful insight into the costs involved in achieving these dreams.

Alright, Let’s Call it a Draw is an eloquently detailed compilation of stories and incidents that became the pivotal moments in the life of Dr. John Pryor. It details the life events that made him a man of conviction, a man of integrity, and a family man. This book reveals the unique characteristics of John’s life that resulted in an exceptional individual whose family, colleagues, friends and all who knew him would ultimately be proud of.

Every EMS provider will see a little bit of themselves in the life of John Pryor. Anyone who ever wondered what medical school is like will gain an inside perspective. This book is a must read for every emergency services provider. You won’t be able to put it down. To obtain a copy, go to