Sometimes Amazing Things Happen: Heartbreak and Hope on the Bellevue Hospital Psychiatric Prison Ward

By Elizabeth Ford, MD
Read by Bernadette Dunne

8.29 Hours 04/25/2017 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (38Tracks)
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Elizabeth Ford went through medical school unsure of where she belonged. It wasn’t until she did her psychiatry rotation that she found her calling—to care for one of the most vulnerable populations of mentally ill people, the inmates of New York City’s jails, including Rikers Island, who are so sick that they are sent to the Bellevue Hospital Prison Ward for care. These men were broken, without resources or support, and very ill. They could be violent, unpredictable, but they could also be funny and tender and needy. Mostly, they were human and they awakened in Ford a boundless empathy. Her patients made her a great doctor and a better person. While Ford was a psychiatrist at Bellevue she became a wife and a mother. In her book she shares her struggles to balance her personal and professional lives, to care for her children and her patients, and to maintain the empathy that is essential to her practice—all in the face of a complex institution, an exhausting workload, and the deeply emotionally taxing nature of her work. Ford brings humor, grace, and humanity to the lives of the patients in her care and in beautifully rendered prose illuminates the inner workings (and failings) of our mental health and criminal justice systems.

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Summary

Summary

Elizabeth Ford went through medical school unsure of where she belonged. It wasn’t until she did her psychiatry rotation that she found her calling—to care for one of the most vulnerable populations of mentally ill people, the inmates of New York City’s jails, including Rikers Island, who are so sick that they are sent to the Bellevue Hospital Prison Ward for care.

These men were broken, without resources or support, and very ill. They could be violent, unpredictable, but they could also be funny and tender and needy. Mostly, they were human and they awakened in Ford a boundless empathy. Her patients made her a great doctor and a better person.

While Ford was a psychiatrist at Bellevue she became a wife and a mother. In her book she shares her struggles to balance her personal and professional lives, to care for her children and her patients, and to maintain the empathy that is essential to her practice—all in the face of a complex institution, an exhausting workload, and the deeply emotionally taxing nature of her work.

Ford brings humor, grace, and humanity to the lives of the patients in her care and in beautifully rendered prose illuminates the inner workings (and failings) of our mental health and criminal justice systems.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Sometimes Amazing Things Happen possesses the power to open eyes, change attitudes, and affirm the worth of society’s most afflicted and forgotten individuals.” Wally Lamb, #1 New York Times bestelling author
“Testifies to the kind of love that physicians can offer: a dogged, practical devotion…Ford is human here, and thus imperfect. She describes burning out, her failings as a parent…The story is graphic and real but, as in most physician memoirs, details are withheld.” New York Times
“A rare insider’s view of what happens in a mental hospital and on a psychiatric prison ward…a must read.” Benjamin Sadock, MD, NYU School of Medicine
“An unadorned exploration of how a doctor maintains hope and perseveres in the face of overwhelming human and institutional dysfunction.” Marvin Swartz, MD, Duke University School of Medicine
“As the tales unfold, readers are carried away on the amazing journey displaying the resilience of the human spirit and the chance for healing and hope.” Debra A. Pinals, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry, University of Michigan

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Elizabeth Ford MD

Elizabeth Ford, MD, is the chief of psychiatry for Correctional Health Services for New York City’s Health and Hospitals and a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. She is a recognized national expert in issues related to incarceration and mental illness and teaches extensively about these topics. She was formerly the director of forensic psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital, specializing in the treatment of individuals with serious mental illness in the criminal justice system, and the director of the NYU Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Training Program. She is the author of multiple peer-reviewed academic articles and book chapters, as well as the editor of Landmark Cases in Forensic Psychiatry, a book about seminal US Supreme Court cases related to psychiatry.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Social Science
Runtime: 8.29
Audience: Adult
Language: English