The inspiration for the NBC drama New Amsterdam and in the spirit of Oliver Sacks, this intensely involving memoir from a former medical director is a "humanitarian and heartbreaking tapestry where modern medicine confronts the atrocities of life" (Kirkus Reviews).
Using the plights of twelve very different patients--from dignitaries at the nearby UN, to supermax prisoners at Riker's Island, to illegal immigrants, and Wall Street tycoons--Dr. Eric Manheimer "offers far more than remarkable medical dramas: he blends each patient's personal experiences with their social implications" (Publishers Weekly).
Manheimer was not only the medical director of the country's oldest public hospital for over 13 years, but he was also a patient. As the book unfolds, the narrator is diagnosed with cancer, and he is forced to wrestle with the end of his own life even as he struggles to save the lives of others.
Bellevue s former medical director offers unusual clarity, empathy, and insight in these stories from the bedside at the nation s oldest hospital and, Manheimer notes, perhaps its most famous public one. Yet Manheimer offers far more than remarkable medical dramas: he blends each patient s personal experiences with their social implications. Juan, an addict with a long criminal record, shows indomitable strength in battling cancer in the hospital s prison unit as the hospital presses for his compassionate release. For Manheimer, his case illustrates a broken prison system. For Tanisha, an emotionally damaged teen, one caring foster family gives her a last shot at happiness and demonstrates the problems of psych treatment for kids. Equally gripping tales include that of addict Arnie, a former Wall Street success story whose demons nearly destroyed his son, and whose slow slog to recovery highlights the nature of forgiveness. But perhaps the most moving tale of all is Manheimer s own as a cancer patient, he learns far more about despair and hope than most physicians can imagine. Manheimer offers a window onto a unique hospital and the wisdom of a healer who tends with equal skill to patients and the world.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great Book that lead to a great show.
This book is absolutely amazing. I can see how it inspired New Amsterdam and why some amazing people wanted to turn it into a TV show. There are a lot of very important things in this book that we all need to hear in America. This is a brilliant look into the American health care system, how we’re all interconnected, reminders to keep a hold of our humanity, and the important message that children/the poor/immigrants/prisoners/doctors and nurses are people, too.
I would recommend this book to anyone.