Bellevue by David Oshinsky. Published by Doubleday

As a kid growing up in the 1970’s, I heard of Bellevue on TV all the time. It was where the crazy, confused street people were taken, the place where people who had no place else to go were incarcerated. The very name was synonymous with dread. Oshinsky takes a look at the real Bellevue and readers will likely be very surprised at what they learn. Beginning in 1738, Bellevue was a place where the poor and indigent, the sick and possibly contagious were housed. Over the years the hospital was home to a variety of firsts, from medical testing on Civil War soldiers, to the first nursing school for women to the start of the first civilian ambulance corps.They pioneered medical photography and psychiatric treatment, and for a short time Bellevue was a shining example of what a modern hospital should be. But as the twentieth century wore on, the hospital became overcrowded and underfunded. Patients were neglected and mistreated and the horror stories began. Oshinsky shows the difficult path that the hospital followed from its darkest days in the late 20th century to the present, where the hospital is again at the forefront of modern medical treatment

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