The Emergency: A Year of Healing and Heartbreak in a Chicago ER

Penguin Random House Audio. Mar. 2022. 7:50 hrs. ISBN 9780593502389. $20. MED
This memoir by emergency medicine physician Fisher takes listeners through a Chicago ER during COVID, but it also goes beyond the pandemic. Fisher’s anecdotes about particular cases and patients are interspersed with letters to patients explaining what happened during their visit and arguments about the larger issues plaguing U.S. health care. Drawing on his public health background, Fisher focuses especially on the delivery of care to patients who live in areas where people, on average, earn less income. His description of how the system manages emergency room visits is terrifying, as he recounts getting only about three minutes of direct contact with each patient; Fisher’s broader statements about injustice and inequality in U.S. health care are a lesson for anyone interested in the subject. Fisher does a wonderful job narrating his book, and his voice has all the qualities listeners want.
VERDICT Recommended for anyone who thinks about the state of health care. This will give them new insights.
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