Working Stiff

Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner

Author: Judy Melinek, MD,T.J. Mitchell

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476727279

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 3330

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“Fun…and full of smart science. Fans of CSI—the real kind—will want to read it” (The Washington Post): A young forensic pathologist’s “rookie season” as a NYC medical examiner, and the hair-raising cases that shaped her as a physician and human being. Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. While her husband and their toddler held down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation—performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy’s two years of training, taking readers behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple, including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines Flight 587. An unvarnished portrait of the daily life of medical examiners—complete with grisly anecdotes, chilling crime scenes, and a welcome dose of gallows humor—Working Stiff offers a glimpse into the daily life of one of America’s most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. The body never lies—and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on television to reveal the secret story of the real morgue. “Haunting and illuminating...the stories from her average workdays…transfix the reader with their demonstration that medical science can diagnose and console long after the heartbeat stops” (The New York Times).
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Working Stiff

2 years, 262 bodies and the making of a medical examiner

Author: Judy Melinek,T.J. Mitchell

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 1760111821

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 8007

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'Far from the magic we see on TV, Working Stiff describes forensic pathology in the real world. The book is a compelling and absorbing read.' Kathy Reichs, New York Times bestselling author 'engrossing . . . pulls back the sheet to show readers just what goes on after someone dies . . . Armchair detectives and would-be forensic pathologists will find Melinek's well- written account to be inspiring and engaging.' Publishers Weekly Dr Judy Melinek has made a career out of working with dead bodies. As a forensic pathologist, she has probed and prodded corpses for clues that may reveal murder, suicide, a medical accident or a rare genetic WC disease This fearless memoir tells the gripping story of the young doctor's 'rookie season' as a forensic pathologist, and the cases-hair-raising and heartbreaking and impossibly complex- that shaped her as both a physician and a mother. Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband T.J. and their toddler Daniel holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation-performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, and counselling grieving relatives. Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in one of the modern world's most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. Dr Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorised depictions of autopsy work on shows like CSI and Law & Order to reveal the secret story of the real morgue and what really goes on behind the police tape. 'Melinek's enthusiasm for her calling is always apparent, and her writing is unselfconsciously bouncy, absorbed and mordant (though not caustic) . . . A transfixing account of death, from the mundane to the oddly hair-raising.' Kirkus Reviews 'Working Stiff is the grossest book you'll ever love. But it is also so much more than that: Seamlessly fusing memoir, science journalism, riveting whodunit mysteries, and light humour about a dark topic . . . a relentlessly fascinating and informative book from the first page to the last.' Scott Stossel, author of the New York Times Bestseller My Age of Anxiety
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The Education of a Coroner

Lessons in Investigating Death

Author: John Bateson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 150116824X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 368

View: 7664

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An “entertaining” (Booklist) account of the mysterious, hair-raising, and heartbreaking cases handled by the coroner of Marin County, California throughout his four decades on the job—from high-profile deaths and serial killers to inmate murders and Golden Gate Bridge suicides. Marin County, California is a study in contradictions. Its natural beauty attracts celebrity residents and thousands of visitors every year, yet the county also is home to San Quentin Prison, one of the oldest and largest penitentiaries in the United States. Marin ranks in the top one percent of counties nationwide in terms of affluence and overall health, yet it is far above the norm in drug overdoses and alcoholism, not to mention the large percentage of suicides that occur on the Golden Gate Bridge. Ken Holmes worked in the Marin County Coroner’s Office for thirty-six years, starting as a death investigator and ending as the three-term, elected coroner. As he grew into the job—one that is far different from the forensics we see on television—Holmes learned a variety of skills, from finding hidden clues at death scenes, interviewing witnesses effectively, managing bystanders and reporters, and preparing testimony for court to how to notify families of a death with sensitivity and compassion. He also learned about different kinds of firearms, all types of drugs—prescription and illegal—and about certain unexpected and potentially fatal phenomena, such as autoeroticism. Complete with poignant anecdotes, The Education of a Coroner is “riveting and complex…supremely entertaining reading material and…a fascinating and wildly informative dive into the mysterious world of death and decay” (Kirkus Reviews).
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No Apparent Distress: A Doctor's Coming of Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine

Author: Rachel Pearson

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393249255

Category: Medical

Page: 288

View: 6241

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A brutally frank memoir about doctors and patients in a health care system that puts the poor at risk. No Apparent Distress begins with a mistake made by a white medical student that may have hastened the death of a working-class black man who sought care in a student-run clinic. Haunted by this error, the author—herself from a working-class background—delves into the stories and politics of a medical training system in which students learn on the bodies of the poor. Part confession, part family history, No Apparent Distress is at once an indictment of American health care and a deeply moving tale of one doctor’s coming-of-age.
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First Cut

Author: Judy Melinek,M.d., t.j. Mitchell

Publisher: HarperCollins Australia

ISBN: 1489293116

Category: Fiction

Page: 286

View: 887

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A hard-nosed San Francisco medical examiner uncovers an underworld plot in this fiction debut by the New York Times bestselling authors of Working Stiff. For San Francisco’s newest medical examiner, Dr Jessie Teska, it was supposed to be a fresh start. A new job in a new city. A way to escape her own dark past. Instead she faces a chilling discovery when a suspected overdose case contains hints of something more sinister. Jessie’s superiors urge her to close the case, but as more bodies land on her autopsy table, she uncovers a constellation of deaths that point to an elaborate plot involving nefarious opioid traffickers and flashy tech titans who got rich off Bitcoin. Autopsy means ‘see for yourself,’ and Jessie Teska won’t stop until she has seen it all — even if it means the next corpse on the table could be her own.
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