In the spirit of Oliver Sacks Awakenings and the TV series House, Dr. Eric Manheimer's Twelve Patients is a memoir from the medical director of Bellevue Hospital that uses the plights of 12 very different patients - from dignitaries at the nearby UN, to supermax prisoners from Riker's Island, to illegal immigrants, and Wall Street tycoons - to illustrate larger societal issues.
Manheimer is not only the medical director of the country's oldest public hospital, but he is also a patient. As the audiobook unfolds, he is diagnosed with cancer and is forced to wrestle with the end of his own life - even as he struggles to save the lives of others.
©2012 Eric Manheimer (P)2012 Hachette
Eric Manheimer did an awesome job of not only writing the book but also narrating it. I have been involved in Hospital healthcare for over 30 years and understand his joys and his frustrations.
Eric was able to tell his story and the story of his patients in such a way that it made you feel like you were right there at the bedside with him. When describing patient's conditions and procedures, he did it in a way that the lay person could understand exactly what he was talking about, yet he didn't "dumb it down" so much that the professional was bored. Each patient was a story by itself, which kept the book interesting. Also, by describing his life at Bellevue, he was able to show the decline in Healthcare in the US over the past 30 years without being preachy about it. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading non-fiction true life medical stories.
I bought this audible book because of the high reviews. I expected to learn something about medicine/bellevue.Those subjects were somewhat discussed (unbelievably in English) but the rest of the book might as well have been in Spanish because that's all I heard as the author speaks back and forth to his paitents - in my foreign tongue. Nice - but for some reason it drove me CRAZY or LOCA depending on how you look at it. He also explains his and other's Latino culture - IN DETAIL.....until I went completly LOCA and - ELIMINADA DEL LIBRO!!!!!! (for our English readers) means DELETED THE BOOK!!!! This book might be fine and a very good listen for others. It just hit me the wrong way. Sorry
i dont know - eric manheimer was dry but did have some care in his voice
must have latino background to understand
It is very different to the rest of the ancient historic books that I normally read, but this was very interesting and eye opening to the daily reality of managing a Hospital
The knowledge and attention to detail
His voice changes when needed, in some other chapters it seem still painful for him to re-live the past.
Life at Bellevue
Great to listen, a sad reflection of our society
I can't say I really liked anything "best" about it. I usually enjoy medical nonfiction, but found the stories kind of boring. I don't know if this had to do with the narrator. No inflection or differentiation between characters by voice. I also found it irritating how political views were inserted in the narration. I guess he had every right to do so because it is a nonfiction account of cases he was a part of, but for some reason it seemed to take away from the actual story that was being told.
The narrative is convoluted and I could not follow it. Some of the author's self-revelatory anecdotes were interesting but many of them sounded like a scree from a benzedrine storyteller. I tried to listen all the way through, but had to switch it off for lack of interest.
While the stories were insightful, giving you the feeling of actually sensing the characters turmoil, the doctor should have let someone else read the book to us. He sounds flat and for lack of other words, like he is reading out loud in class.
I think I would have enjoyed reading this book instead of listening to it.
When Dr. Manheimer learned that he had cancer and was now also a patient.
Overall yes, seem to drag a few times but still riveting.
Stirred my emotions, compassion, fear of being sick, voyeurism, sense of getting real life, privileged information/life stories although names and identities are hidden.
Good opportunity to better understand a section of New York Cities daily life, covering all economic and cultural levels. Felt like I was there at Dr. Manheimer's side. I really enjoyed this audio book.
Yes. I am a nurse who deals with patients and events very similar to the ones Manheimer describes. He very effectively captures the difficulties, anguish and satisfaction of being in the medical profession. He also weaves in the societal ills that lead to physical illness.
Manheimer's story is one of the most affecting.
How did you get to this place.
Moving, meaningful and realistic. I am a nurse manager and I plan to buy a copy for each of my 30 nurses.
The book would have been markedly better read by a professional narrator.
Though the author read it, his inability to differentiate different individual's voices made some chapters almost impossible to follow (most notedly in the chapter where a former patient is speaking at an alcholoics anonymous meeting and it is nearly impossible to tell when the narrative is the patient's and when it is the author's thoughts).
I am very conflicted about this book and would probably give it 2.5 stars if given the chance. The author, a former medical director at Bellevue Hospital, uses twelve patients (himself included) as a touchstone to discuss his life, his career, and numerous social issues surrounding medical care. As such, each chapter is its own vignette, though themes and some of his colleagues and family make repeat appearances. On the plus side, I was immediately engrossed by the book. I cannot explain why, as the patients and their medical ailments were not particularly unusual and the author's writing is not transcendent. As the book wore on, though, I became less interested as the author sometimes became repetitive and his writing overwrought (some of the metaphors were just too much, including a passasge where something -- maybe subway cars -- hung like larva). One of the most frustrating aspects of this book was the squandered chance the author had to make broader policy suggestions. Admittedly, that is not why I picked up the book (I was looking for a little more straight medical memoir, and had expected more discussion of the pschiatry practice that Bellevue is associated with), but the author spends a lot of time espousing his beliefs and liberal leanings. Having started down that path, he often writes as if every reader agrees with his views and does not take the time to lay groundwork or support his ideas. With his decades of experience, extensive travel to less privileged countries, and incredible emptahy for his patients, this was a wasted opportunity.
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