Book details of 'Five Patients : The Hospital Explained'
Shop for this book
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases
Back to shelf Science
Back to shelf Psychology
The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Five Patients : The Hospital Explained':
Reviewer amazon.com wrote:
Michael Crichton, creator of many a blockbuster, began his writing career while still a student at Harvard Medical School.
Though he never practiced medicine, the education was enough to put a gloss of verisimilitude on works like The Andromeda
Strain and the long-running television hit ER. Five Patients is ER in real life--circa 1969, when Crichton graduated from
medical school. Five different patients are examined at Massachusetts General Hospital; each patient's story illustrates
some larger aspect of the hospital system. Thus, Ralph Orlando's death from cardiac arrest engenders a brief history of the
modern hospital and emergency ward. John O'Connor, who has an unexplained high fever and infection, spends a month in
the hospital, leading to a discourse on the cost of medical care (perhaps the most eye-opening chapter of the book--or the
most unintentionally funny one from a 1999 perspective). The saga of Peter Luchesi, a worker whose hand is nearly severed
in an industrial accident, leads to a discussion of 20th-century surgical advances. Sylvia Thompson, a traveler with chest
pains who is seen by a doctor via closed-circuit TV at an airport, benefits from new (at the time) diagnostic and therapeutic
technologies that have altered irrevocably the doctor's role. Finally, the case of Edith Murphy, diagnosed with systemic
lupus erythematosus, serves quite literally to educate the medical students and interns who take on much of her care, as the
hospital staff hierarchy is dissected and explained. Crichton's style here tends to the sober and bureaucratic--reading it is
much more like brain surgery than hanging out in the staff room with George Clooney and Noah Wyle--but for the
industrious it's a fascinating glimpse of pre-HMO medicine.
Add my review for Five Patients : The Hospital Explained