Sometimes Amazing Things Happen

  • by Elizabeth Ford, MD
  • Narrated by Bernadette Dunne
  • 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Elizabeth Ford went through medical school unsure of where she belonged. It wasn't until she did her psychiatry rotation that she found her calling - to care for one of the most vulnerable populations of mentally ill people, the inmates of New York City's jails, including Rikers Island, who are so sick that they are sent to the Bellevue Hospital Prison Ward for care.
These men were broken, without resources or support, and very ill. They could be violent, unpredictable, but they could also be funny and tender and needy. Mostly, they were human and they awakened in Ford a boundless empathy. Her patients made her a great doctor and a better person. While Ford was a psychiatrist at Bellevue she became a wife and a mother. In her book she shares her struggles to balance her personal and professional lives, to care for her children and her patients, and to maintain the empathy that is essential to her practice - all in the face of a complex institution, an exhausting workload, and the deeply emotionally taxing nature of her work. Ford brings humor, grace, and humanity to the lives of the patients in her care and in beautifully rendered prose illuminates the inner workings (and failings) of our mental health and criminal justice systems.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

True stories from the trenches of medicine

Dr. Ford is a natural storyteller. She relates experiences from her training as a psychiatrist, starting from early days of residency all the way to becoming the boss. She keeps the story focused on her work as a psychiatrist and leaves most of her personal life out of it. There are some negative reviews of this work, complaining about the lack of closure on some of the cases she relates. However, I didn't find it frustrating. I enjoyed the evolution of both her growing as a physician, as well as the recurring patients in the book. I recommend this listen for any health care provider, especially for students who will do rotations in Psychiatry.
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- Stefanie

Thought-Provoking

This book covers Dr. Ford’s psychiatry rotation in medical school. She says she discovered her calling on that rotation. She went on to become Chief of Psychiatry for Correctional Health Services in New York City. She worked at Bellevue Hospital and Riker’s Island. Ford discusses the mentally ill in the jail system. She also includes personal information about the problems of balancing her professional and personal life.

The book is well written and provides the reader with a good overview of the problems of the mentally ill in the correctional system. I came away with reinforcement of my opinion about the need to reform the mental health system both in the need to remove the mentally ill out of the prison population and get the mentally ill homeless off the streets. The book is a worthwhile read.

The book is almost eight and a half hours long. Bernadette Dunne does an excellent job narrating the book. Dunne is an actress and well-known audiobook narrator. Dunne has earned the Audie Award and over six Golden Earphone Awards.
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- Jean

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-25-2017
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.