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Book vs Show

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I wasn't sure where to post this. It is probably OT anywhere. Although I gave up on the show, I am now 10 pages away from finishing Dr. Manheimer's book. It is pretty dry. It would probably put ordinary people to sleep. However, I have a sleep disorder, so I'm not so lucky. I'm also am unhappy with all the grammatical errors (that is a pet peeve of mine). Sentences in English do not begin with "and," "or," and "but." Also, "Everything." is not a complete sentence.

Anyway, I can clear up some of the misconceptions from the TV show. Some people may consider these to be spoilers, so proceed at your own risk.

He did deal with a doctor on drugs, although it was not Adderall. It was a radiology resident who kept faking pancreatitis, so he could get narcotic prescriptions. When Dr. Manheimer confronted him, he packed up his family and moved the next day without officially resigning his position at the hospital.

Bellevue does not do organ transplants, so the whole story line about the domino transplant was bogus. They did, however, arrange a transplant for an illegal alien from Guatemala. It wasn't a nine-year-old girl who needed a lung. It was a 39-year-old woman who needed a heart. He is very vague with the details as to how she got on a transplant list, who paid for the surgery and how she was supposed to get her anti-rejection meds post-op. It is also pretty vague about the outcome. It said she survived long enough to be discharged from the hospital. In the next paragraph, he reports her death. He doesn't say how much time elapsed between the transplant and her demise. He also doesn't say what actually killed her. (My cynical side is betting that she was trying to stretch her anti-rejection meds further than she should have).

Bellevue has a separate ER for psychiatric patients, so Dr. Adderall probably wouldn't be having any contact with them. I'm surprised they don't have Iggy running his own ER to help keep him relevant. Dr. Manheimer covers a lot of psychiatric patients in his book. The immigrant with the tiger mom is partly true. She never threw herself in front of a subway train. They didn't provide fake billing to the insurance company to keep her mother from finding out about it. The girl who walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to get away from her foster home was also true. They never tried to take her diary away from her at the hospital. In fact, the hospital gives its patients diaries and encourages them to use them. Being taken in by the daughter of the only foster mother she ever liked was also true. However, she wasn't a young woman who was also in school herself. She had grown children and half-grown grandchildren. She was given the diary to read and agreed to become a foster mother herself. The whole process took more than six months, and the girl did continue to live at Bellevue until it was all approved.

Dr. Manheimer had been working at Bellevue for 12 years when his cancer was diagnosed. He didn't attempt to keep running the hospital while he was being treated. When he did return to work, it was only for a couple of years. He then retired. He had two adult children, and it was his first grandchild who was born the day he started his chemo and radiation treatments. They whole clandestine "no one can know" story-line was fake. He told his wife immediately, and she answered her phone on the first ring when he called her with the biopsy results.  Likewise, he also told the rest of his family and colleagues right away.  His treatments started 3 weeks after he was diagnosed. He said he was treated with a "platinum based" chemo drug, but doesn't specify if it was cisplatin or carboplatin. Since he was treated as an outpatient, I'd assume it was carboplatin. Cisplatin requires the patient to be very well hydrated before, during and well after it is infused to prevent damage to the kidneys. It also produces a very profuse, explosive, barn-yard smelling diarrhea which adds to the hydration problem. I've never given cisplatin to anyone who was willing to be more than 8 feet from a functioning toilet. Before he started radiation he had a feeding tube implanted in his stomach. He fed himself ensure exclusively until he was done with treatment and able to relearn how to swallow. He describes the outpatient infusion room as having individual cubicles for each patient, so the group card game probably never happened, either. Incidentally, he was also diagnosed with melanoma. They may be saving that in case there is a season two.

They did repatriate a dying illegal immigrant to Mexico, so he could see his family before he died. It took more than the ten seconds allotted to the story-line on the show. In fact, Dr. Manheimer, his wife and several other hospital staff members including doctors and social workers accompanied him on the trip. The doctors paid the costs themselves.

Those are the most glaring inconsistencies between the book and as much of the TV show as I've seen. If you're still reading this, congratulations and thank you for your patience.

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