Dr Judy Melinek has made a career out of working with dead bodies. As a forensic pathologist, she has probed and prodded corpses for clues that may reveal murder, suicide, a medical accident or a rare genetic disease This fearless memoir tells the gripping story of the young doctor's 'rookie season' as a forensic pathologist, and the cases - hair-raising and heartbreaking and impossibly complex - that shaped her as both a physician and a mother. Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband T.J. and their toddler Daniel holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation - performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, and counselling grieving relatives. Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in one of the modern world's most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. Dr Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorised depictions of autopsy work on shows like CSI and Law & Order to reveal the secret story of the real morgue and what really goes on behind the police tape.
Dr. Judy Melinek is a San Francisco-based Forensic Pathologist and an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF Medical Center. She earned her college degree from Harvard and received her medical degree and pathology residency training at UCLA. During her fellowship in forensic pathology at the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Manhattan, she performed 247 autopsies and identified victims from the World Trade Center terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. She became an Assistant Medical Examiner in Santa Clara County for one year before coming to San Francisco, where she has worked since 2004.