Friday, March 6, 2015

Jailhouse Doc: A Doctor in the County Jail - William Wright

Summary: Dr. William Wright gave up a suburban practice as an ear surgeon to become the doctor at Colorado's maximum-security prison. After that, running a medical clinic at the county jail should be a snap, right? Oh, brother...Hoards of desperate people fresh from the streets, homeless addicts, illegal aliens, and gangbangers all ruled by a corrupt sheriff and his concubine sidekick made the supermax look almost pastoral.

Told with humor and biting wit by the best-selling author of Maximum Insecurity, Jailhouse Doc follows Dr. Wright and his struggles with scamming inmates, corporate bureaucrats, and a sheriff who wants to be a doctor.

Peek behind the bars at the operations of a city jail and the daily battles to deliver medical care to a population on the edge.  (Summary and pic from

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Review: I really enjoyed this book. First of all, I liked the voice. Dr. Wright is funny and I liked his sarcastic humor. He’s not rude, he wasn’t disrespectful, but he also doesn’t beat around the bush or pretend like the patients he sees are just normal everyday people like he saw in his practice before he became a jail house doctor. He was able to be forthcoming and also sensitive, which I appreciated.  Because while this population is definitely unique, they are also vulnerable and I would have felt uncomfortable with a doctor who was not sensitive to this. Dr. Wright is and I appreciated that.

Dr. Wright has some really interesting stories and experiences. Working in the jail is obviously something really unique and different than a doctor would normally see in a standard practice, and I found this really interesting.  The jail population is really different from the normal doctor/patient population at large, and I learned a lot from reading this book. He has had a lot of interesting experiences and if nothing else, it was fascinating to read about a population that is somewhat overlooked in the healthcare realm.

I also found the discussion of the jail inner workings interesting. It seems obvious that there would be drama with the inmates, but I also found it eye-opening to see what the jail staff was like and what was successful and what was dysfunctional.

My only complaint about this book is that I wish it had been longer and included more stories. I guess that’s as good as a complaint as you could ask for.

My rating: 4 stars

For the sensitive reader: This book has some minor language and slightly disturbing content, but it is certainly not gratuitous or disrespectful. 

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