As a college student, John Crocker embarked on the adventure of a lifetime, spending eight months in the Gombe forest working with Jane Goodall. He would follow families of wild chimpanzees from sunrise to sunset and learn the fundamental behavioral traits of these chimps as they raised their offspring.
One chimpanzee would captivate him. Her name was Fifi, and she displayed extraordinary patience and reassurance towards her infant, Freud. Upon returning home and becoming a doctor, Crocker found himself incorporating the lessons he learned from Fifi into his work as a father and physician. When he would witness his young patients rocketing around the exam room, he would picture Fifi’s patience and tacit approval of Freud’s uninhibited and joyful exploration.
Crocker shares how his time with our closet animal cousins help him better understand his patients with ADD, anxiety, and depression. These traits and others, so maligned today, are hardwired into our natural behavior and help chimpanzees protect their community, and raise their young, and survive. Upon his return to Gombe thirty-six years later with his own son, Crocker's experience with the chimps comes full circle.
An illuminating book that will raise thought-provoking questions about the evolution of human behavior, the importance of patience, strong family bonds, and provide a greater understanding of what it means to be human.
John Crocker has been practicing family medicine in Seattle for thirty-five years. He attended Stanford University, where he met Jane Goodall. He received his MD from Case Western School of Medicine in Cleveland. Dr. Crocker is a popular speaker on primate behavior and has written for the Huffington Post about lessons learned from our closest living relatives. This is his first book.