Morphine, Ice Cream, Tears: Tales of a City Hospital

Joseph Sacco, Author William Morrow & Company $17.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-688-08466-0
Yet another indictment of the medical training system comes from the vitriolic pen of a New York City hospital resident who charges that hospitals place patients in the care of immature, sleep-starved interns whose judgment is impaired by grueling work schedules. Sacco recounts in grisly detail not only the horrors he has either witnessed or unwillingly participated in, but the politics- and bureaucracy-ridden medical establishment, which, he contends, treats diseases, not patients. Disturbing, too, are his alarms about injuries caused by hospital conditions and drug- or alcohol-impared doctors. ``It's a miracle,'' he observes, ``that patients survive, never mind get better.'' While Sacco's professional zeal and indignation are commendable, his deliberately shocking excesses, including tasteless humor, tend to overshadow the positive criticism and sound appraisals of medical problems and issues he defines. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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