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Emergency Doctor


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About the Author

Edward Ziegler is a former editor at Reader's Digest.


The emergency rooms at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospitalthe country's oldest municipal hospital, founded 250 years agotreat some 300 patients daily; three-fourths of the cases involve alcohol or drug abuse and a disproportionate number of the patients are paupers. It is a matter of pride for Goldfrank, director of the service, that no one is turned away, even as the department's resources are strained with indigent patients ``dumped'' from private clinics. With Reader's Digest editor Ziegler, Goldfrank and other Bellevue medical and housekeeping personnel recreate the somber, heroic, taxing work-a-day demands of saving lives under emergency conditions, including the lives of ``regulars'' like Eighth Street Eddie who needs to be deloused as well as treated and prisoners handcuffed to guards. The book is at once a social and medical document, overlong and, on occasion, tediously repetitious but gut-wrenching, heartwarming and instructive about the exigencies of this branch of medicine as practiced at the legendary institution. 25,000 first printing; $25,000 ad/promo; author tour. (September 2)

New York City's Bellevue Hospital is one of a dwindling number of American hospitals which care for everyone who comes to them, regardless of the patient's ability to pay. On Bellevue's front line is its highly acclaimed Emergency Department, directed by Dr. Lewis Goldfrank. This chilling account of the daily activity here is less a biography of Goldfrank than a paean to the staff of the Emergency Department, and an indictment of the American health care system. Accounts of some of the cases Goldfrank's team has treated are interspersed with the frightening facts about AIDS, cocaine abuse, and the plight of the poor in modern American cities. Fascinating and profoundly disturbing, this belongs in most public libraries. Susan B. Hagloch, Tuscarawas Cty. P.L., New Philadelphia, Ohio

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