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Working Stiff : Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner
by M.d. Judy Melinek and T. J. Mitchell


Overview - The fearless memoir of a young forensic pathologist's "rookie season" as a NYC medical examiner, 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.
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More About Working Stiff by M.d. Judy Melinek; T. J. Mitchell
 
 
 
Overview
The fearless memoir of a young forensic pathologist's "rookie season" as a NYC medical examiner, 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. Judy 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, 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.
Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in 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 shows like CSI and Law & Order to reveal the secret story of the real morgue.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781476727257
  • ISBN-10: 1476727252
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company
  • Publish Date: August 2014
  • Page Count: 258


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Medical > Forensic Medicine
Books > Medical > Pathology

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-05-05
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this engrossing tale of how Melinek became a forensic pathologist, she pulls back the sheet to show readers just what goes on after someone dies. Her caseload varies widely, and to help readers appreciate the job’s mix of art and science, she outlines basic procedures and gives examples of the cunning detective work so often required, regularly sprinkling in bits of trivia. Melinek recognizes that it’s sensational cases like murders that “everybody wants to hear about.” She indulges readers’ curiosity, but not at the expense of her larger story, which focuses on the breadth of her experience rather than a collection of anecdotes. This cumulative experience prepares readers for the book’s most trying passages: Melinek’s experiences working on victims of the 9/11 attacks in New York City. She respectfully and artfully relays the kaleidoscope of emotions that she and her coworkers endured as they struggled to first comprehend what had happened and then keep up with truckloads of bodies and body parts they were tasked with cataloguing. Though some sections call for a strong stomach, armchair detectives and would-be forensic pathologists will find Melinek’s well-written account to be inspiring and engaging. (Aug.)

 
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