Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
After returning from Stockholm to receive his Nobel Prize for cardiac catheterization in 1956, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons professor Dickinson Richards returned to Bellevue Hospital to conduct ward rounds. As the team of doctors approached the first patient, an elderly woman, she beckoned Richards and said, "Doctor, darling, could you bring me a bedpan?" In No One Was Turned Away, Sandra Opdycke recounts this anecdote to demonstrate Bellevue's historic paradox. An eminent medical institution that has provided extraordinary care to patients and excellently trained thousands of young physicians, it has also been chronically understaffed, underfunded, and in physical disrepair—the type of hospital where attending physicians need to help out with bedpans.
HospitalsNo One Was Turned Away: The Role of Public Hospitals in New York City Since 1900. JAMA. 2000;283(8):1069-1070. doi:10.1001/jama.283.8.1069-JBK0223-2-1