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Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue…
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Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital

by Eric Manheimer

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What do a South American Immigrant, a cancer patient, and prisoners that live in New York all have in common? They all were somehow treated or impacted by the Bellevue Hospital. The author Eric Manheimer, writes about 12 different patients that he has treated and gotten to know during this time at the hospital, along with history about the medical field, the hospital itself, how the government influences the hospitals, and history about why so many immigrants came to New York. This book is a slow read, especially for someone who does not read much non-fiction or historical books. That being said, this book is very educational, eye-opening, and very well written.

Heather B. / Marathon County Public Library
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  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
I found this book to be very dry. Yet, it is realistic in showing how draining and emotional it can be to work in the medical field if you truly still care for others. I worked in the medical field, and I've seen how many turn their emotions off or just don't care anymore like they have become numb. At times in the book I felt like we are being preached at for not caring more about immigrant issues. The way it was written actually turned me off, instead of making me care more about those issues. i admire the author for including his story of his own battle with disease and his fight to overcome it. He did show that his battle helped him look at his patients in a different light. ( )
  LeleliaSky | Oct 24, 2015 |
I've been working in healthcare for six years now and within the world of a large urban hospital for about a year. Twelve Patients is a wonderfully written memoir of just what it's like to be in the belly of the beast - the homeless, the chronically ill, the mentally ill, criminals, ordinary people, and the army of staff that keep hospitals running 24/7, 365 days a year. Mr. Manheimer tells wonderful stories, truly connecting the reader to what is happening. He has opinions and uses many of the stories to illustrate his opinions and this is also effective. Full of heart and humanity I cannot recommend this one enough. ( )
  kraaivrouw | Dec 27, 2012 |
Powerful account of the life and issues of 12 different patients at NY's Bellevue Hospital, told by former medical director. Each story illustrates different aspects of contemporary issues in our society...all with global implications. Made me realize that what I know as reality is only a small slice of what makes up reality for the world. Truly an enlightening book that left me with many things to consider. ( )
  SignoraEdie | Sep 12, 2012 |
I was so looking forward to reading this book but the execution did not live up to my expectations. I thought that twelve really fascinating House style cases would be laid out. The reality was more convoluted. The stories meandered and often included a lot of personal information about the author's own life, like his fight against cancer. He also likes to detail his food choices. It seems like every other page has a description of some food he's eaten or brought to a patient. A more competent editor could have streamlined the book.

Many of the patients included in the book were poor, illegal immigrants which lead to long discussions about their countries tenuous political regimes which forced them to escape to the US under the most dangerous conditions. For instance one woman from Guatemala was raped all the way to the US and her young son was stolen and sold. She finally makes it here, works herself to the bone never having experienced a moments happiness in her life only to to die at the age of 39 from a heart ailment. On top of that the son who was sold into slavery and her daughter end up in foster care after he death because no one can take them in. Depressing stuff and the other stories aren't much better. Don't go into this thinking you will read about amazing medical cases with happy endings. People die and in excruciating ways which I guess is just reality. After reading this novel I think that if I had to work at Bellevue Hospital I would need to be on antidepressants. This book was an unflinching look at the grittier side of life. ( )
  arielfl | Sep 3, 2012 |
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A former medical director of Bellevue Hospital in New York offers stories from the case histories of twelve patients, ranging from a homeless man to a prominent Wall Street financier, to humanize current social issues.

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