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Book and Media Reviews
December 10, 2008

Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God and Diversity on Steroids

JAMA. 2008;300(22):2679. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.785

Hospitals are much more than mortar and brick, steel and glass. Like churches and schools, they are organic—buildings buzzing with activity and energy, devotion and spirit. Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God and Diversity on Steroids is an account of one year in the life of a large medical center in New York City. It is a story about the struggle and survival of patients and the hospital itself.

Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn is nearly 100 years old. Its 705 beds place it among the top 5% of the biggest hospitals in the country. It serves a diverse community, including a preponderance of Jewish persons but also an increasingly large number of Chinese immigrants. As many as 67 different languages are uttered in its corridors and rooms. For readers wanting a bird’s-eye view of multiculturalism, this is the place.

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