Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Dr. Bailey Character Analysis

Dr. Bailey is a highly regarded neurologist practicing in New York City. Susannah describes him as grandfatherly and kind, and she wants to assure him that everything is fine the first time she sees him for the numbness in her left side. Though his exam yields normal results, after Susannah's parents insist, he refers Susannah to the New York University hospital. When Susannah contacts Dr. Bailey after recovering from her illness, she discovers that Dr. Bailey had never heard of anti-NMDA receptor autoimmune encephalitis, despite his prestige in the medical world. However, Susannah learns several years later that Dr. Bailey referred a patient who exhibited similar symptoms as Susannah to Dr. Najjar, though he didn't admit to the patient's parents that he'd misdiagnosed Susannah.

Dr. Bailey Quotes in Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

The Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Bailey or refer to Dr. Bailey. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon and Schuster edition of Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness published in 2012.
Chapter 14 Quotes

"Her EEG was completely normal," Bailey protested, looking through my file. "MRI normal, exam normal, blood work normal. It's all normal."

"Well, she's not normal," my mom snapped as I sat there, quiet and polite with my hands folded in my lap. She and Allen had made a pact that they would not leave Dr. Bailey's office without getting me admitted to a hospital.

Related Characters: Mom (speaker), Dr. Bailey (speaker), Susannah, Allen
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 47 Quotes

While he may be an excellent doctor in many respects, Dr. Bailey is also, in some ways, a perfect example of what is wrong with medicine. I was just a number to him... He is a by-product of a defective system that forces neurologists to spend five minutes with X number of patients a day to maintain their bottom line. It's a bad system.

Related Characters: Susannah (speaker), Dr. Bailey
Page Number: 226
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dr. Bailey Character Timeline in Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Bailey appears in Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Love and Family Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
...sounds worried by Susannah's symptoms and arranges for her to visit a neurologist that afternoon. Dr. Bailey 's office is very drab in comparison to the marble lobby of his building, and... (full context)
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
When Dr. Bailey sees Susannah, she hastily describes her symptoms and thinks that she wants to reassure him... (full context)
Chapter 9
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
...Mom rubbing her feet, which are stiff and painful. Mom schedules an emergency appointment with Dr. Bailey for Monday. (full context)
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
Regardless, Allen and Mom drive Susannah to Dr. Bailey 's on Monday. The painting in the waiting room seems to match Susannah's mood. Dr.... (full context)
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
Dr. Bailey asks Susannah about her alcohol consumption. She thinks she hasn't had any in the last... (full context)
Chapter 11
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
...finger and draws blood. She comes to minutes later. Mom is on the phone with Dr. Bailey , scheduling Susannah for an electroencephalogram (EEG) to test her brain's electrical activity. (full context)
Chapter 12
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
In Dr. Bailey 's waiting room, Susannah has no sense of time as she waits. She feels almost... (full context)
Chapter 14
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
Back in Dr. Bailey 's office, Dr. Bailey insists that Susannah is suffering the classic symptoms of alcohol withdrawal:... (full context)
Chapter 18
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
...of Dr. Arslan. He interviews both Mom and Dad about Susannah's symptoms, and even calls Dr. Bailey . Dr. Bailey tells Dr. Arslan that Susannah drinks two bottles of wine per night.... (full context)
Chapter 47
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
Susannah contacts Dr. Bailey as she researches her article. He hasn't heard of anti-NMDA receptor autoimmune encephalitis, despite the... (full context)
Afterword
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
...same disease. Susannah recognizes herself in the patient's rigid, thin body. Her parents explain that Dr. Bailey actually suggested they seek out Dr. Najjar, though he hadn't mentioned that he missed Susannah's... (full context)