Customer Reviews for

Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    "Twelve Patients" is an engrossing book written by the

    "Twelve Patients" is an engrossing book written by the former medical director of Bellevue Hospital, one of the most famous (and oldest) public hospitals in the country. Manheimer details the lives of several of his most interesting patients, in often lurid and terrifying detail. He pulls no punches in his descriptions of these patients, and doesn't flinch in his portrayal of the often depressing social situations involved. Many of these patients have tragic background stories that have lead them through the doors at Bellevue, sometimes their only refuge from horrific circumstances. Through these stories, Manheimer also tackles the subjects of hospital politics and our country's broken healthcare system.

    As a physician I found his book fascinating and truthful. Those of us in the medical field all have our own stories of patients who've left their marks on us, some good and some bad. Manheimer's great strength is that he doesn't try to sugarcoat the stories or his feelings about his patients. One patient was described as "evil." How often have you read a book by a physician that described a patient this way?

    Medical memoirs appear to be in a renaissance. Manheimer's book joins several recent physician memoirs that I've really enjoyed. The most recent one, God's Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine is a fine read that really gets to the heart and soul of medicine. It's touching and thought-provoking.

    One of my favorites, In Stitches is a fast, fun read about medical school. It's probably the most entertaining of all the medical memoirs I've read, making me laugh and even shed a few tears. Both of these books are great companions to Twelve Patients.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite Dr. Eric Manheimer was

    Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite

    Dr. Eric Manheimer was the Medical Director of Bellevue Hospital in New York City. There is little he did not experience. In his book "Twelve Patients" he shares the plight of twelve of the most remarkable patients. Dr. Manheimer also shares his own medical struggle. He was diagnosed with throat cancer and was experiencing chemo through much of his narrative.

    Manheimer changed the name of the patients to protect their privacy. One of the patients was a Hispanic male with the same type of cancer as the author. The one that touched me the most was a girl shuffled from foster home to foster home; she felt safe at Bellevue. Each patient was important to Manheimer. It was easy to feel his compassion. I was amazed at the way he would take time to get to know the patients individually. He listened to them in a manner that not all doctors are capable of. He even traveled to Mexico with one of his patients. The good doctor expresses his opinion throughout the narrative. I was struck by his description of the plight of the immigrants. He expressed his anger that they could donate organs but could not receive transplants.

    This is a review of the audio version of the book "Twelve Patients". The book is read by the author Dr. Eric Manheimer. His voice, like his writing, expressed his heartfelt emotions. I am glad I read this book. It gave me a different outlook on the issue of immigration and foster homes. I admire Manheimer for his dedication to his patients.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    go on rounds with Virgil!

    What an eye opener as to what it's like to be a Dr. in a large urban hospital. The entire spectrum of human ailments, from births to suicides, from successful treatment to heartbreaking death, this is a veritable tour through Dante's inferno. Dr. Manheimer reveals his personal struggle with cancer as well as his liberal interpretations of what he sees in the world in which he finds himself. All in all, a page turner, well written.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    excellent

    amazing what goes on in a hospital

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    I purchased this book thinking it would be an interesting, detai

    I purchased this book thinking it would be an interesting, detailed description of the patients' medical history and the diagnostics and treatments of each person's condition.
    Instead, I realized that every patient's story became an excuse for the author to launch into his political views.
    Each perfunctory case history (enhanced by stilted and unrealistic dialogues between patient, physician and family) became a starting point for Manheimer to expound at length as to what caused the problem. The illegal immigrant with cancer? Not his native country's failure to sustain its economy and allow the people to make money and live comfortably there; no, it is the US's treatment of illegals that is at fault.
    That is just one example of the many sermons that make up the brunt of this book.
    After awhile, I began skimming through the diatribes to see whether the story would become more interesting; alas, it never did. A waste of $15.99.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2014

    I found these reviews helpful.  I recently bought the nook editi

    I found these reviews helpful.  I recently bought the nook edition and am looking forward to reading it.  I am grateful that one anonymous writer gave an honest appraisal of why he was disappointed.  I also find  objective medical histories and treatment plans to be a part of a good medical narrative.  This reader advised me that Manheimer's account of his Bellview experience would be a very subjective and personal approach.  The other readers were very consistent in their appreciative comments of Dr. Manheimer.  There is nothing  wrong with being a compassionate doctor,as long as the reader knows where the writer is "coming from".  Manheimer by all accounts here, has written from the heart and does not try to disguise that.  The "anonymous" reviewer might like this book called "Hospital" by Medved (I believe that is the author) a collection of oral histories from Chicago's Cook County Hosp).  All kinds of viewpoints are offered by the different doctors and staff members on common patients and departments.  It almost becomes quite hilarious at times, as they head into conflicts and clash with each other  The doctors in this hospital talk about each other very candidly.  12 Patients sounds like it is meant to be an inspirational narrative rather than a critique of Bellview

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2014

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    Posted September 13, 2012

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    Posted September 29, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

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