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Publisher's Summary

Filled with stories of strange medical cases and unforgettable patients culled from a 30-year career in medicine, Cook County ICU offers listeners a peek into the inner workings of a hospital. Author Cory Franklin, MD, who headed the hospital's intensive care unit from the 1970s through the 1990s, shares his most unique and bizarre experiences, including the deadly Chicago heatwave of 1995, treating the first AIDS patients in the country before the disease was diagnosed, the nurse with rare Munchausen syndrome, the only surviving ricin victim, and the professor with Alzheimer's hiding the effects of the wrong medication. Surprising, darkly humorous, heartwarming, and sometimes tragic, these stories provide a big-picture look at how the practice of medicine has changed over the years, making it a must-listen for patients, doctors, and anyone with an interest in medicine.

©2015 Cory Franklin (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Franklin provides an excellent firsthand perspective on life in the medical trenches." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Subtle, funny and compassionate

Doctor Franklin explains through stories of patients and himself or his colleagues, how Medicine has devolved from a covenant between patient and doctor, to a business, in which everybody is treated like "corn or coal". The writing is serene, but the subject makes the good doctor furious, and with a good reason. The hospitals where he once learned and practiced, places where doctors were proud of the virtue their trade represented, are now places where only one thing matters: money.
What a great read/listen. John Pruden does a good job of telling it all.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Very impressive..

Made me laugh a lot, even though im not in the medical field, I have found this book exciting and had to listen in one sitting.. Definitely recommend it..

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing

Self indulgent, moderately interesting, anecdotes where the author is the falsely modest hero of each one.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Basic

I would recommend this book to young adults considering a career in medicine; however, experienced practitioners who have likely experienced many of the same situations throughout their career or gain little insight.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Worth a Listen!

What made the experience of listening to Cook County ICU the most enjoyable?

I really enjoyed listening to all the interesting cases that Dr. Franklin wrote about in his book, and the interplay between his work life and the affects (positive and challenging) it had/has on his personal life. Dr. Franklin is extremely honest about everything; this book isn't gory or disgusting, but it shows that doctors really are people and have strong feelings and emotional connection to their patients.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene in this listen was when Dr. Franklin wrote about a patient he saw in the clinic who ran a barbecue restaurant during his career. The description of the emotional closeness of Dr. Franklin and his patient, whom he saw many times over the course of a few years, was beautiful. The patient would bring the doctor a container of barbecue ribs at each of his clinic appointments and, later, an annual barbecued turkey (!) each year at Thanksgiving. The patient would meet the doctor at the hospital each Thanksgiving morning to give the doctor the barbecued turkey, free of charge, to share with his family to thank the doctor for his care throughout the year.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would certainly like to listen to this book all in one sitting, but as it is 7-12 hours long (I can't remember exactly how long it is now because I'm writing this review about 6 months after I finished listening), I would never have a span of time that long available to listen all in one sitting. I certainly could listen to it and finish in one sitting; the book is well-written and would hold my attention long enough for me to listen all the way through.

Any additional comments?

Would certainly recommend this listen, especially if you like medically related books with firsthand stories of the cases that actually come through the doors of the hospital and clinic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nicole
  • East Brunswick, NJ, United States
  • 08-14-16

Fun insight into the inner workings of a teaching hospital

I really enjoyed the patient cases and anecdotes about life as the author moved from intern to resident to full fledged physician. I wished he had spent more time on these then on trying to make them relatable to the ever changing healthcare system. These stories were incredibly interesting on their own without further exploration and make the book worthy of a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed!

Placing the abbreviation " ICU" in the title lead me to imagine much more interest stories.

The tales were mostly G rated and without much genuine humor. I found the narration wooden.

I appreciate the undeniable consciousness of the writer, but the stories I have heard and repeated over the years were much more exhilarating.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Thomas
  • NAPERVILLE, IL, United States
  • 07-26-16

Off Topic -

What would have made Cook County ICU better?

If the author had spoke more about the CC ICU and not his own grandiose perceptions

Would you ever listen to anything by Cory Franklin, MD again?

No - Save for some unsupported rhetoric I'm not sure I would even want to hear from this author again

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

There are some good 'Stories' in the book but some are at the expense of others, including family and patients - I think one's own character comes out best when they speak about others and not themselves-

Any additional comments?

Quite disappointed in the character as either accurately or inaccurately shown by this book-

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent account of life in a hospital

I loved listening to this book. I finished it in 1.5 days. As a pharmacist in a large private hospital in Africa many of the stories were all too familiar with me. Surprising how, even though I work on the other side of the world, essentially health care workers all behave in the exact same way.

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Great review of a physician's career!

This book is really amazing, a must listen for those who are curious about medicine =)

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  • Robert
  • 12-27-16

Great for all audiences

I'm a radiologist and I have listened to this audiobook with great interest. It is written in a language that is easy to follow for non-medical listeners and interesting for professionals.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sheldon
  • 04-01-18

sightly below average

too much exposition with a wooden delivery. if you are really into the genre read it otherwise stay away

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  • Allan
  • 03-25-18

Touches the heart of the matter

an insightful work, touching on areas too often ignored nowadays. I recognise from my own childhood in London similar virtues of our local doctor and a service that is dying out. I appreciate all those in the medical profession who despite the bureaucratic obstacles still endeavour to live up to the Hippocratic oath. I especially was taken with the last chapter regarding covenant v contract agreement/understanding.
overall an well written book narrated realistically filled with humour, insight and depth.

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  • DEANVEGGY
  • 02-11-18

hard to put down

big book, still sorry to reach the end. chapter on being medical technical advisor on The Fugitive movie sublime/hilarious. hat off.

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  • Mr
  • 04-17-16

Brilliant

An excellent read. This book is full of pearls of experience and wisdom. Yes, one will learn little tidbits of medical information, but moreover you will get a taste of what it is like to be a doctor and to look after people. The great thing about Dr Franklin is his ability to convey the excitement of the practice of medicine, whilst still being honest about the day to day realities of the profession and the final chapter is a particularly honest representation of where medicine is at in today's world. As a doctor myself, I would highly recommend this title to any aspiring doctor or medical student, but also to the general audience wishing to understand and appreciate more about what doctors do for their fellow humans.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Benjamin
  • 02-18-17

Great medical stories

loved the listen. so many fascinating cases from his years of experience. His reflections on the medical system is insightful. It was narrated well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer2
  • 12-14-16

Very Interesting.

I enjoyed the historical aspect of this book which is a bit like an autobiography rather than 'lectures'. How true are the changes in health care as far as the Dr/Patient relationship from older times when one was eye to eye where now the computer screen plays such a big part in the surgery or clinic.
Being approximately Dr Franklin's age it brought back many fascinating medical, along with general, snippets of interest. Very well narrated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • cameron.hoare
  • 05-18-16

great stories told well.

easy to listen to. filled with fantastic stories. the anecdotes make you really think. i think the author would make a great dinner guest.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth
  • 02-16-17

Absorbing!

A captivating listen as Dr Franklin takes you on a journey. Thoroughly enjoyed this book, particularly as the stories span over three decades showing just how much medicine has changed over the years.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful