Rusty Reeves (Author)
July 30, 2014
6.0 X 0.96 X 9.0 inches | 1.39 pounds
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About the Author
I am a forensic psychiatrist. It's not anything like the television shows: no transparent screens hovering in space, no high-tech lab that could bankrupt a small country, no nubile Ph.D. assistants. It's mostly the patient collection of data to verify or refute an examinee's self-report. "Listen very carefully, and never believe a word they say," is the paradox I teach the resident doctors. I find this paradox also works well with politicians and pundits. The cant out there can drown you. I was raised in Missouri, Mississippi and Texas. I attended Princeton University where I majored in psychology. Although I suppose I arrived at Princeton with the usual southern prejudices, it wasn't until I spent some time on the enlightened East Coast that I learned the fine gradations of racial, ethnic and class stereotypes that I employ in Chump. I completed medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. I hated medical school. The first two years were will-breaking memorization, and the third year was a sleepless blur of misery. I was also immature. I did my psychiatry residency and forensic fellowship at the erstwhile St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City. There I encountered all manner of humanity. I learned that a gaffe is not only a blunder. (Look it up.) The hospital that served the entire West Village and which we never thought would close is now condos. I met my wife at St. Vincent's. She is a child psychiatrist and is - as we in the supportive professions euphemistically like to say - more "grounded" than I. We have four wonderful children who have no idea how good they have it. I work in the public sector with challenging and ill patients, including criminals and juvenile delinquents, most of whom are poor and minorities. I won't name (but also won't deny, if asked) the institutions with which I am associated - august and venerable, all of them - because I make no claim that they support the views expressed in Chump. I also value my job. I teach other doctors, and publish psychiatric research in peer-reviewed journals. I have been able to craft a career working with difficult patients partly because I recognize their capacities and limits, and my own. My skepticism serves me well, even as I try to do right by my patients.