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Working Stiff: Two Years, Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner, by Judy Read an Find out more about Working Stiff by Judy Melinek, MD, T.J. Mitchell at Simon & Schuster. Read book reviews & excerpts, watch author videos & more. “Working Stiff: Two Years, Bodies, and the Making of a Medical “Working Stiff” is not a groundbreaking book: It joins a long list of memoirs.

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Start by marking “Working Stiff: Two Years, Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner” as Want to Read: Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. As described in the title, this. “Far from the magic we see on TV, Working Stiff describes forensic pathology in the real world. The book is a compelling and absorbing read.” (Kathy Reichs. Editorial Reviews. Review. “Far from the magic we see on TV, Working Stiff describes forensic pathology in the real world. The book is a compelling and.

We got a chance to chat with Melinek recently about her new book coauthored with her husband, T. Mitchell , Working Stiff , which offers a probing glimpse of the ways we die—the messy and mundane—with plenty of fascinating and sometimes gory details about the art of autopsies:. To begin with, you need good diagnostic skills; you need to be a good doctor. In order to be a forensic pathologist, you need to have a basic understanding of all of medicine, and that includes anatomy, physiology, and the subspecialties, because everybody dies at different ages and stages. And you have to have the training of anatomic and clinical pathology before you even start: When you were working in NYC, what was the most common cause of death that ended up on your table? It was probably an equal mix of accidents, overdoses, and natural deaths.

After leaving her surgical residency, Melinek leapt at the chance to enrol in one focussed on pathology, with significant interest in the forensic arm of the field.

"Working Stiff" Book Club Discussion Questions | Forensic Pathology Forum

This led to a two-year fellowship in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York, where Melinek was able to see some of her most exciting and interesting cases, described throughout the book. While many think of a medical examiner as being one who deals in homicides, Melinek explains that there are many types of life-ending situations that ended up before her. Some were quite serious, including the man who leapt five storeys to his death and fractured numerous bones, while others were overly comical, like the man who died from complications with his metal penile implant.

Not only does the job require an examination of the body to determine the matter of death, but can be quite contentious if the family disagrees or the matter makes its way to court. Melinek explains that her job can be quite stressful, especially as the body is not always forthcoming with evidence of what has happened and witnesses can inject their own bias surrounding the events leading to the end of life. Melinek may have a humours side, but her work also subjects her to numerous cases of horrible death or suffering, not the least of which was the fallout of the September 11, disaster, where she and her team alongside many others were tasked with identifying remains and trying to bring closure for many.

Full of oddities that many readers will likely feel must be real—as this stuff could never be made up—the book will education as well as entertain the curious reader.

Stiff book working

Perfect for those who have an affinity for all things medical and enjoy some of the funnier predicaments in which people can find themselves at the point of death. A lighter read for those who want to absorb rather than construct strong opinions.

Book Review: “Working Stiff” – Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner

The authors do a masterful job of explaining the medical nuances of the work and injecting a less than intensely serious aspect, which can sometimes help to make the vignettes more alluring. Mitchell Scribner.

Stiff book working

Melinek has put together with her husband, T. On television, as she ruefully points out, she would have been the sexy starlet in spike heels and a short skirt. In life, she was a harried mother of two in scrubs, gloves and a mask.

Judy Melinek & T.J. Mitchell - Working Stiff

A personal experience with violent death — her father committed suicide when she was 13 — cast long shadows over her work. The World Trade Center towers fell not long after Dr.

The first pages concentrate on her routine duties. Most of Dr. Rather, they were often trapped during life in situations tragically ignored by others, only to become the focus of civic attention in death: The solitary addict, the reclusive adult and the abused child all wind up on her autopsy table.

There, too, land patients from hospitals all over the city for a final and finally accurate diagnosis. A host of grieving relatives also become Dr.

Smart Reads: Judy Melinek’s ‘Working Stiff’

Too much decongestant medicine, perhaps? Bad sushi?

Not infrequently, the pathologist must be a psychiatrist, too. But the stories from her average workdays should also transfix the reader with their demonstration that medical science can diagnose and console long after the heartbeat stops.