Something to Prove

A Daughter's Journey to Fulfill a Father's Legacy

By Yvonne S Thornton; Anita Bartholomew
(Kaplan Publishing, Hardcover, 9781607147244, 288pp.)

Publication Date: December 14, 2010

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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The inspiring sequel to the acclaimed memoir The Ditchdigger’s Daughters.

Dr. Yvonne Thornton’s memoir The Ditchdigger’s Daughters has captured the hearts of readers everywhere since it was first published in 1995. Translated into 19 languages, featured on Oprah, and made into a TV movie, this heart-warming and inspiring story chronicles Yvonne Thornton’s family; at its center is her beloved, unschooled but wise father Donald Thornton, who demanded that all five of his daughters not only excel in school, but go on to become doctors. Four of them did; the other found her calling in law and became a lawyer instead.

Something to Prove picks up where The Ditchdigger’s Daughters left off. In this sequel, Dr. Thornton reveals how she ascended to the top of her field as a physician by drawing on her father’s teachings. Despite bias and setbacks, she became the first African-American woman to be board certified in the obstetrical sub-specialty of maternal-fetal medicine. Dismissed and shunned by her peers for entering the white, male-dominated world of academic medicine, Dr. Thornton relied on her father’s life lessons, which taught her to be strong and rise above adversity. Though intelligence, determination, and hard work, Dr. Yvonne Thornton overcame the odds to reach the pinnacle of her profession.

About the Author

Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH, is a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and board-certified specialist in obstetrics, gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine (high risk obstetrics) at New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York.  She has personally delivered more than 5,000 babies in her career and has overseen or supervised more than 12,000 deliveries.  She is a former Vice-Chair of a department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and is the mother of two children.

            She is the author of The Ditchdigger’s Daughters, her memoir about growing up in a poor family with parents who were determined to see all their daughters rise above their circumstances and become doctors, and Woman To Woman, a health guide that answers many questions women have about their bodies from someone who’s been on both sides of the stirrups.

During her 35-year career in medicine, she has conducted research at The Rockefeller University, the National Institutes of Health Pregnancy Research Branch, National Naval Medical Center, Naval Medical Research Institute, and New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. She is the author or co-author of more than a dozen scientific papers. She also serves as a reviewer for the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

She received her medical (M. D.) degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and her Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.


Anita Bartholomew is a leading freelance writer and editor and former longtime contributing editor to Reader’s Digest. Her work has appeared in numerous other major newsstand, web, and custom publications as well, including Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Salon, Continental, and others.

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