Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Working Stiff - Melinek/Mitchell

Title: Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner

Author: Judy Melinek/T.J. Mitchell
Genre: Memoir
3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Book Source: Library

Recommended if you like: Memoirs, medical stories/books, stories about 9/11

What Its About:  
An interesting new look at death, Working Stiff is the story of Judy Melinek, a up and coming doctor who discovers that her passion is not where she expected. While she likes medicine, she finds working in a hospital setting less than desirable. She opts to explore the option to study pathology. She is awarded the opportunity to train as NYC medical examiner.

She begins her training just before the September 11 attacks and quickly gains experience and knowledge in her field. Dealing with daily NYC death, with causes ranging from shootings and stabbings, to drug overdoses, to natural causes, Melinek learns the ropes of working in a profession that many could not imagine. She develops not only her medical and legal knowledge, but also her ability to separate the world of death at work and life with her burgeoning family.

All of that experience is tested when on September 11th, her entire world is shaken as she walks to work and see a large plane flying very, very low. Too low. Upon arriving at work, she is informed of the events unfolding and spends the next months in the proverbial trenches with her coworkers assisting with the horrific recovery effort. Ultimately, she finds her place in her new field and 

The Bottom Line: 
Interesting look at the every day life of a medical examiner and the trials they face in their work. Melinek shares the truth behind the glamorized depictions seen on shows like CSI and Law & Order.