Didn't Get Frazzled
David Z Hirsch
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
A provocative and humorous novel about four years in the life of an intrepid young medical student, set in the grueling world of an elite NYC medical school.
“…the best fictional portrayal of med school since ER.” – BlueInk Review (starred review)
INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist and 2017 Readers' Favorite Bronze Medal Winner in the Fiction - Humor/Comedy genre
Medical student Seth Levine faces grueling stress and gallows humor as he struggles with the collapse of his romantic relationships and all preconceived notions of what it means to be a doctor. It doesn’t take long before he realizes not getting frazzled is the least of his problems.
Seth encounters a student so arrogant he boasts that he’ll eat any cadaver part he can’t name, an instructor so dedicated she tests the student’s ability to perform a gynecological exam on herself, and a woman so captivating that Seth will do whatever it takes to make her laugh, including regale her with a story about a diagnostic squabble over an erection.
Didn’t Get Frazzled captures with distressing accuracy the gauntlet idealistic college grads must face to secure an MD and, against the odds, come out of it a better human being.
An intense coming-of-age story with a medical twist
This novel is an entertaining and intense coming-of-age story with a medical twist. Seth Levine enters medical school in a serious relationship with his college girlfriend and a superficial idea of what it means to be a doctor. In short order, both get shattered. He has little time to adjust as he moves from one clinical rotation to another and meets patients with even more serious problems. Seth's attempts to recover are bittersweet and familiar to anyone who has been through a similar loss.
The story shifts between Bellevue Hospital and the singles scene in New York City, and the two threads frequently overlap. Knowing what is going on in Seth's personal life makes his struggles in the hospital that much more compelling. I really cared about these characters and found it easy to root for Seth and his medical school friends to succeed, even as they are hampered by inexperience and self-doubt and face cynicism and the unrelenting medical system. There are many thoughtful, moving stories throughout the book. My favorite is a scene with Mr. Smith, a homeless man who bonds with Seth in a way that breaks down all social barriers until they are just two people who care about each other sitting on a hospital bed, one dying of cancer and the other trying to find his way.
"Sometimes there's nothing you can do to prevent someone from dying. And then you have to do the impossible: pick yourself up and move on to the next thing. And do it all over again. And again. And learn to like it. And realize you're part of something amazing, something important."
Often brutal but ultimately uplifting, Didn't Get Frazzled shows Seth getting frazzled many times, but through grit and perseverance he is able to overcome his demons. When Seth learns to help others, he can finally heal himself and maybe even have a chance again at love. One can't help but feel that if there's hope for him, there's hope for us all.