Robert S. McKelvey, M.D.
Specializing in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Books by Robert S. McKelvey, M.D.
This text is a collection of oral histories of Vietnamese Amerasians. Abandoned during the war by their American fathers, discriminated against by the victorious Communists, and ignored for many years by the American government, they endured life in impoverished Vietnam.
A Gift of Barbed Wire is a searing look at the lives of South Vietnamese officials and their families left behind in Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975. A former Marine who served in Vietnam, Robert McKelvey went on to practice psychiatry and, through his work in refugee camps and U.S. social service organizations, met South Vietnamese men from all walks of life who had been imprisoned in re-education camps immediately after the war. McKelvey's interviews with these former political prisoners, their wives, and their children reveal the devastating, long-term impact of their incarceration.
How is it possible for practitioners of the healing arts to cope with the deaths of children and the devastating grief of their families? Physician Robert, McKelvey looks squarely at this painful question and gets to the heart of it in "When a Child Dies". Although the stories he tells are replete with heartbreak, he achieves a higher purpose by illuminating the successes and failures of medical training in helping doctors and nurses confront these deaths. McKelvey interviews members of a pediatric hospital staff, specifically those working in intensive care and hematology-oncology units where children often die and where caretakers have a great deal of experience with terminal illness. His interview subjects discuss their family backgrounds and what led them into medicine; their education, training, and on-the-job experience that helps them deal with death; their emotional reactions to the death of a young person; and their styles of coping, both personally and professionally. This is the first book to focus on the grieving process of physicians and nurses for their child patients. There is a wealth of information here that will be recognizable and comforting to those already in the medical profession and that will help in the training of those about to enter the profession. Physicians, nurses, and medical students, as well as sociologists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, the clergy, and families, will find this book invaluable.