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Showing 1-10 of 17 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 42 reviews
on May 19, 2008
Ok so maybe I am a little biased because I actually work at the hospital where this book was conceived and written.
Seriously though, Ms. Salamon has has manged somehow to give an overview of Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn that is both accurate and wonderfully descriptive. She has succesfully captured the flavour of Brooklyn and Maimonides in an entertaining yet authentic way.
This is not one of those PR stunts to try make Maimonides famous and rich, rather it is a soul searching account of the most horrendous and uplifting experiences that go hand in hand when an urban hospital meets multiple cultures.

At the end of the day it is a book about human emotions and human deficiencies.
Ego and humility, arrogance and compassion mixed with a healthy dose of back stabbing and genuine love for humanity.

Highly recomended.
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on July 25, 2008
As a physician who trained at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, I found this book enjoyable....but I knew many of the physicians mentioned and it was a mini-reunion. It is amazing that the actual names are used! It gave me a keen insight into the inner workings of hospital politics and the boardroom battles that I have never witnessed. To non-physicians, the book would be somewhat boring. I am glad that I read it, but it will not be too memorable. (Dr. Warshawsky's review was very favorable (5 stars), but he is a very kind person. I am more realistic/critical!)
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on March 14, 2009
I teach undergraduate courses in health care administration including a course on health care economics and finance. In the twenty years I have been teaching the course I have yet to find a textbook to my liking as books on this subject tend to be very dry and difficult to read. This semester I decided to augment the textbooks with a supplemental text and during my search came upon "Hospital." I read the first few pages of the book on-line (at and knew at once this was something I wanted my students to read and experience as well.

One of the challenges of teaching this course is making the material meaningful. I like the quote: "Statistics are people with the tears wiped away." I believe the same can be said of health care economics and finance, as textbooks do not convey the impact that economic decisions have on individuals. However, Salamon's book helps to place these decisions in context and hopefully will help my students appreciate that the economics and finance of health care is more than what can be summarized in a profit and loss statement. This text will be valued addition to the materials I use in my course.
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Anytime an author reveals the inside of an institution, in this case a hospital, it is a good thing. The book focuses so much on the administration because that was the source. The author maintains objectivity but does not give the grand critique it seemed she was in position to do. However, such a critique would be outside the scope of the book and could have made it voluminous.

In some ways the critique of our healthcare system speaks for itself in this narrative. I felt emotionally distressed during the heart wrenching parts of poor cancer patients. Also, I felt admiration for all people working in hospitals in every capacity.

This is also a good story of grand cultural diversity within our society. Access to quality health care is nothing to take for granted. Also, there is only one Maimonides.
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on August 18, 2008
A great read. not only does this book give us an insiders look at healthcare in new york, but also shows us the struggles of new immigrants, and the problems that are facing our hospitals dealing with different languages and cultures. I think Ms. Salamom is a gifted writer and at the end of the day, you really beleive that everyone is trying to do the right thing, inspite of the red tape, bad behavior, money god and yes, diversity on steroids. Kudos to maimonides for allowing this to happen and giving us this wonderful opportunity to learn something new.
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on September 16, 2008
A fascinating documentary with a drama twist of a real life Brooklyn hospital. For those who are curious about medicine and medical professionals, administrators, supportive personnel and the very sick patients who are given the best treatment regardless of their ability to pay. There are no heroes or villains in this book but the real people.
I could not put this book down until the end. Highly recommended.
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on January 18, 2011
There is definitely an interesting and highly informative story here. How could there not be, considering that we're dealing with a large urban hospital serving an extremely diverse population set in an the context of an increasingly perplexing health-care crisis. The book does provide insight into the key issues; the difficulties of satisfying diverse and often antagonistic populations, cost-profit challenges balanced against the need for quality care; often intense internal rivalries and politics as well as external politics (the Brooklyn hospital versus the supposed Manhattan big-guys; and, or course, the patients themselves. I found a lot of this especially interesting because I live in the shadow of the Elmhurst Hospital Center, which might almost be seen as a Queens County version of Maimonides. I saw another reviewer here criticize the book for focusing too much on the higher ups and not enough on the doctors and nurses in the trenches. The point is reasonable, but I can accept the vantage point chosen considering the way the book dramatized the impact of the higher-level matters on the day-to-day functioning of everything else.

To me, the negative, here, is that the author often makes the reader work much harder than necessary to pull the story together. I appreciate her desire to portray the main characters as three-dimensional human beings, but I think she goes too far to the point where it seems as if she feels compelled to write about them and their personal issues as, sort of, a way to repay the kindness they showed by cooperating with this book (a book that clearly could not have been written without a heck of a lot of cooperation). I doubt that any of this was overt on the part of the author or any of the people at Maimonides. But from my perspective, as a complete outsider, I have to say that in my opinion, the book read as if that was the case. Perhaps there was a subconscious desire on the part of the author to express gratitude this way. I suspect another, perhaps bigger, factor was the author getting too immersed in the world of Maimonides, coming to see herself almost as an insider, and thus losing perspective on what would be of interest to insiders versus what would be of interest to outsiders.
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on May 18, 2015
I was excited to read this book as I am in the healthcare field and love reading non-fiction books about medical anything. This book was so not what I expected, it was SO boring! The book focuses on hospital administration and the business side and there are only a handful of stories about actual patients and hospital staff interacting with them. Those few snippets were my favorite part and I found myself skipping ahead to find more...but those were few and far between. If you want to read a book about all the politics and business and inter-depart,met drama that goes into running a hospital. Then this is the book for you, otherwise it's a total bore and waste of time.
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on December 10, 2009
Julie Salamon has provided an excellent description of a teaching hospital providing care in a highly diverse community. For those interested in how hospitals are working and facing challanages head on this is a help. I had a few laughs and shed a few tears with descriptions of patients, families, physicians, nurses, staff and administration.
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on February 9, 2014
Much in the book was interesting to me, as a bioethicist. Other aspects were a bit on the tedious and managerial side - for those who are hospital managers, though, these might make the book worth reading. Overall, the good outweighed the tedious.
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