Updated: May 29, 2021
When you speak to Dr. Eric Manheimer there are many things that stand out. Perhaps the clearest is his love of mankind and desire to make it better. After graduating from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine in 1975, Dr. Manheimer went on to complete his residency at Kings County Hospital. Though he spent seventeen years at Dartmouth he tells the Alumni Association that his ten-year experience in Brooklyn was critical. That critical experience allowed him to reconnect with old colleagues and friends from medical school in 1997, the year he began working at Bellevue Hospital back in New York City.
Not only did Dr. Mainheimer’s time spent at Downstate and Kings County provide a smooth transition in regard to colleagues, but it also provided familiarity with the patient population. The patients at Bellevue were diverse with varying life experiences. They provided amazing stories that drew Dr. Manheimer in, so much so that he started writing everything down in a notebook— one notebook then became a couple hundred notebooks. The stories detailed the lives of patients from Latin America to Tibet.
Dr. Manheimer’s notebooks turned into Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital which was published in 2012. Six years later after a call with his literary agent and acquiring a Hollywood agent, New Amsterdam NBC’s acclaimed medical drama premiered. New Amsterdam, the series that tackles the medical care system while putting patients first was inspired by Dr. Manheimer’s Twelve Patients. Both the book and television series highlight the importance of looking at patients as a whole, acknowledging class, color, and income to name a few, rather than just the illness and cure. Dr. Manheimer believes there is a focus on treating and over-testing.
Though Dr. Manheimer now serves as writer and producer of the hit NBC series, he notes that there is no one achievement that trumps another in the forty-plus years that he has been working. He has had the opportunity to take care of many patients all over and work with colleagues from all over. His accomplishments are the result of 1,000 cumulative decisions, decisions that were made with the people in mind!
If you are unfamiliar with New Amsterdam, take a look below!
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