Didn't Get Frazzled

Didn't Get Frazzled

by David Z Hirsch



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Didn't Get Frazzled by David Z Hirsch

"...the best fictional portrayal of med school since ER." - BlueInk Review (starred)

  • International Book Award Bronze Medal Winner Readers' Favorite (Fiction - Humor/Comedy)
  • INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist (Humor)

Medical student Seth Levine faces escalating 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.

This comedy-drama is an exciting addition to the grand medical fiction tradition of Samuel Shem, Lisa Genova, and Noah Gordon.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781537097978
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/12/2016
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

David Z Hirsch grew up on the steppes of Nebraska peddling Kool-Aid off I-129 until saving up enough cash for medical school. After graduation, he moved to Pyongyang to teach pre-med classes at Kim Il-sung University. He soon fell out of favor and was imprisoned at Kaechon where he traded medical favors for soup and toilet paper until he made a daring escape across the border.

Dr. Hirsch subsisted for the next three years by foraging gooseberries and licking the dew off spiny toads. This led to a burst of creativity, and he wrote the first draft of Didn't Get Frazzled on bark peeled off a dying Manchurian Ash tree. Ultimately discovered in a semi-feral state by the China Coast Guard flotilla from Liaoning, Dr. Hirsch returned to the United States sixty pounds lighter but more inspired than ever.

David Z Hirsch is a pen name, so absolutely nothing in the above paragraphs are true. This is not lying, you see. It's fiction. Many well-regarded sources insist that these are two distinct things. The actual guy who wrote this novel is a practicing physician in Maryland. His life story is considerably more prosaic, but in his head he lives a fascinating, fascinating life.

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Didn't Get Frazzled 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Jess Adams More than 1 year ago
An intense coming-of-age story with a medical twist. Didn't Get Frazzled 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 much 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 heal 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.
Sashi Aggarwal More than 1 year ago
Not like House of God, in a good way. For medical students, House of God is practically required reading, but I could never stomach the brutal misogyny and exploitative scenes. To my relief, Didn’t Get Frazzled more accurately represents the multicultural world of medicine with strong female and racially diverse characters. There’s also a realistic portrayal of social issues and the dating scene (as I know well, unfortunately for me). This book is a lot of fun and frequently challenged my views on ethics, love, and doctor-patient relationships. I loved how it captured the essence of medical school: “Like most newby third years, I had shed all pretentions and embraced my inner ineptitude.” (Exactly.) “I watched in awe while the pediatrician worked the baby’s hips as if she were deboning a chicken.” (So funny! I was horrified the first time I saw a pediatrician check a newborn for hip dysphasia.) The writing is breezy and the dialogue rings true. This is an easy read (except emotionally). Highly recommended. 4.5 stars.
Amys_Bookshelf_Reviews More than 1 year ago
The side to medical school you didn't know This was an entertaining and fun read, and I enjoyed the adventures and misadventures of the trek through medical school. The author probably derived this from his personal experiences and gave it an exciting but yet humorous story behind it. It seemed real but was so well written, it doesn't matter. The writer didn't bog the reader down with explanations of medical jargon, as it wasn't necessary to explain every little thing. He told a good story, and it was a great journey. Very charming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved being in close and personal as Seth Levine made his way through medical school in NYC, determined not to become jaded, cruel or casual about saving people's lives. He suffers the usual indignities, does his best not to lose his cool while struggling to hold onto a long-term romantic relationship that seems doomed from the beginning. Seth is a very sympathetic character and it's not hard to imagine him becoming a first-rate doctor. The plot moves along at a good clip. I did not want to put the book down. Of course the best thing about Hirsch's writing, is the HUMOR. As someone who has satirized the workings of a medical center and knows not much exaggeration is really necessary, I laughed long and hard and out loud at most of the shenanigans. Warning: some of the scenes are not for the squeamish. Very well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is highly enjoyable. It is both serious and funny at the same time. The book is about Seth Levine's experiences in medical school; The best parts of the book were about the change that in medical school happens in medical school when students stop doing lab work and start seeing patients. Sometimes I have seen medical students make rounds with the doctors and I always wondered what they could do because unlike interns and residents they aren't doctors. This book answered this question and describes the transition from classroom to taking care of patients. In addition, there are some humorous moments in the book as Seth Levine deals with problems in his personal life especially his problems with women. The reason that I am giving this book four starts not five is that I felt it would have been useful to have more information about Seth's background and what made him decide to become a doctor. First I thought the book was a memoir (I knew it was written by an MD) because so little about the characters’ backgrounds are given. Also, while Seth's issues with his girlfriend provide some humor, the novel could have made more of a statement about relationships in medical school (i.e. medical school is so demanding it takes everything from relationships or some women are just interested in Seth because he will be a doctor). However, it was an enjoyable book about the medical school experience. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
teachlz More than 1 year ago
I would like to thank the author for a copy of "Didn't Get Frazzled" for my honest review. The genres of this book are Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, and Humor. In "Didn't Get Frazzled", David Z. Hirsch describes the quirky and zany characters in their first years of Medical School. Seth Levine, portrayed as insecure in his private relationships, but amazingly professional as a medical student, intern, then resident, narrates the story. He introduces us to his friends, colleagues, physicians and supporting staff. Seen through Seth's eyes, some of the interns and physicians are indifferent, callous, rude, uncaring and unprofessional to the medical students as well as the patients. Seth seems to have a knack for providing compassion and understanding to patients,who are frightened and worried. He helps as best that he can answering their questions and listening to their concerns. His supervisors don't seem to get the whole picture, and as frustrating as that is David calmly does the best that he can and "doesn't get frazzled." As the medical students become aware of the various rotations in the hospital, they have to become adept at learning and doing. As interns, they have to become more adept at doing, and making decisions on their own. This might seem serious, but David Z Hirsch, describes the settings and the characters in a humorous way. I found myself laughing out loud at certain settings. David Z. Hirsch describes the medical relationships, and the patients who become well, and those that don't. There is the sadness and frustration and anger, when a patient dies. Of course a hospital is a setting of life and death. Seth also provides information on his single friends, and their relationships. There are times when it is important to have someone to talk too. How does on separate their private lives from their professional ones? This was an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite Didn't Get Frazzled by David Z Hirsch is a realistic fiction novel about the unique life and trials of a medical student. Seth Levine is a typical medical student studying to become a physician. His world involves endless memorization, constantly learning a huge amount of information, and of course the college camaraderie with the unique sense of humor among medical students. The book begins right away with a typical anatomy class and the usual banter. We are introduced to Seth's friend, Sujay Patel, along with their classmates and their unique personalities. Didn't Get Frazzled by David Z Hirsch then continues on and depicts the life and experiences in the medical college classroom, labs, grueling exams, alongside Seth's personal life and his relationships. Didn't Get Frazzled is an engaging book and almost reads like an autobiographical novel because a lot of the events are so close to reality and the real world of medicine. I liked how the characters are so well developed with their unique personalities and traits that they almost seem real. The writing keeps up a steady flow and effectively blends the anecdotal world of medical college with Seth's own life, dating, and relationships. I also found the underlying humor in Didn't Get Frazzled to be quite funny and, for me, this turned this book into a nice blend of light-hearted reading alongside serious topics. People with a medical background will surely identify with Didn't Get Frazzled and lay people will probably just enjoy a humorous look into the life of a medical student.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite Four years of medical school, with rotations in all the clinical services within a New York City hospital, is the setting for this fictional work. In Didn’t Get Frazzled by David Z. Hirsch, M.D., Seth Levine relates the frustrations and struggles, endless hours of study and work, and personal trials during these formative years. Seth lives with his girlfriend, April, and the pressure of his life takes its toll on the relationship. Seth and his fellow classmates are focused on getting through it all, and often escape into sordid, but funny and raucous nights out on the town. Seth manages to rise to the challenges as he finds his true calling. Changing his specialty from pediatrics to cardiology to primary care illustrates another major stress in the medical student’s path. As Seth becomes more comfortable with relating to patients, it is apparent he is on the way to becoming a thoughtful, compassionate physician. David Z. Hirsch, M.D. presents an authentic portrayal of the life of a medical student in Didn’t Get Frazzled. The author’s use of humor provides a good balance against the complicated struggles facing these young, bright professionals. The difficulties in maintaining meaningful, loving relationships are also portrayed well. There are many characters in the book, but it is easy to follow each one due to the unique descriptions of each. The writing has a smooth flow, moving easily from dialogue to Seth’s thoughts to some very dramatic medical situations. The reader is engaged throughout the story, eager to see what the next challenge will be!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Didn't Get Frazzled is a humorous novel about the American medical school experience written by David Z. Hirsch. Studying and acing exams were things any medical student could take in their stride, but the real challenges facing the first year medical students in Seth's class had everything to do with their gross anatomy class. Teams of desperate students cut, sawed, and used memorization tricks to remember the parts of the human body that were - absurdly enough - laid out before them on their examination tables. Their subjects' bodies reeked of formaldehyde and, by extension, they stunk of the preservative as well. One could always tell when a first-year was approaching by that smell. Once, when he came home in a total state of exhaustion, Seth neglected to shower off the stink before he went to bed, and his bed reeked for months afterwards. It was all a matter of perspective, such as looking at a barrel filled with amputated limbs and not getting spooked. At least, Seth had a semblance of normalcy to come home to in the shape of his live-in girlfriend, April. However, as Seth and his classmates got more and more involved in the shared challenges of their schooling, April became more involved with her own co-workers, and their worlds gradually grew further and further apart. David Z. Hirsch's humorous medical school novel, Didn't Get Frazzled, left me feeling profoundly respectful of those students who survive their academic and internship experiences while retaining their humanity and compassion at the same time. This beautifully written and very funny story also reveals the harsh truths medical students have to face and learn to live with. As I write this, I'm thinking quite vividly of the papoose board and the heart-breaking work faced by pediatricians. Hirsch's character, Seth, shares his personal and professional life with the reader, and it's a fascinating account. Some of the patients Seth deals with are unforgettable, and, likewise, there are doctors described who gave me chills and those who still maintained a connection with their patients. While some aspiring doctors may find this an inspirational read, I found myself glad that while I had seriously entertained veterinary medicine, I had never considered medical school. That said, Didn't Get Frazzled is a marvelous read, funny at times, even uproariously so, and poignant at others. As I finished this book, I thought how lucky Seth's patients were to have him as a doctor. And that's what it's all about in the end. Didn't Get Frazzled lets you live the medical school experience from a safe and sane distance. It's most highly recommended.