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April 6, 1957

Hospital in Action: The Story of the Michael Reese Medical Center

JAMA. 1957;163(14):1308. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970490106033

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Here is light reading that points up the scientific workings of a large metropolitan hospital in terms of broad human interest. The selected thoroughness of reporting and narrative lets the detail carry its own line of drama without use of artificial "literary" devices. Skillfully covering the mass complex of hospital life, faith, hope, and charity, the book abounds with anecdotes—most of them pointed, some not. Here a world within a world is covered: from "the frozen woman" (whose temperature dropped to 60.8 F) to the gangland murder victim (newspapers at first said the final death blow was dealt in his guarded hospital room ); from the hospital founding, based on rich gold strikes, to research pioneering a pre-Salk effective poliomyelitis vaccine; from Mandel Clinic's hubbub of charity cases to a nurse's concern for the broken arm of a sobbing girl's doll. The author's selection of quotations, from doctors she interviewed at

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