Zach Maxwell had wanted to get his surgical training at the most prestigious hospitals in the country. His academic record, however, prevented such a golden future, placing him instead in a hospital in the most dangerous part of Brooklyn. There, Zach was tasked to learn not only how to be a great doctor, but also how to deal with both the internal and external problems all young doctors in training face on a daily basis.
With a Greek chief resident, an outspoken surgical chief of service, stressed residents, nurses, patients, and friends who want to “fix him up,” Zach must learn how to be the best doctor he can and retain his humanity at the same time.
About the Author
Irv Danesh was born in Brooklyn, New York. Before he started kindergarten, he and his family had schlepped to five new homes because of his father’s jobs. This was to be a recurrent theme throughout his life. Like the main character of his first novel The Loco Life of Doctor Taco, Irv just didn’t concentrate well in college. Women, and the lack of them, had a lot to do with that. After the rejections for admission to medical schools in the States arrived, Irv joined the diaspora of similar, slacker pre-meds, and journeyed south of the border.
Two years of cultural and academic re-education enabled Irv to trek back to the promised land of Brooklyn. More specifically, Irv was nurtured at the world’s largest community hospital, Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center. This mega-hospital provided him enough stab wounds, gunshot wounds, blunt trauma, and general patient stupidity to regale his friends with stories for years to come.
After two years of surgical training, he decided he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life removing gallbladders or doing bariatric surgery. Being somewhat of an adrenalin junkie, he was in the right place at the right time to snag a residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in the new field of Emergency Medicine. He has practiced in inner-city Emergency Departments for thirty-six years.
Dr. Irv’s job statistically has a high rate of burnout. He fought through two of these periods. The first he managed by moving to Boston and serving as Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Tufts School of Medicine while continuing his career as Associate Director of Emergency Medicine at the Lawrence General Hospital in Lawrence, Massachusetts. It was here that he had his second period of burnout. However, he again was in the right place at the right time as he helped birth the USA Network’s hit show “Royal Pains.” Irv started as the show’s Medical Consultant, advancing over three seasons to Co-Producer.
His MacGyver-like vignettes, such as skull-drilling, fishhook-chest-wall-stabilizing, and other pseudo-medical procedures, would never be allowed in conventional, AMA-approved medicine. Then again, Dr. Irv marches to his own drummer.
Dr. Irv can now be found at the freestanding E.R. in East Boston, working nights and dreaming of retirement.
Doctor Brooklyn: Love & Life at the End of a Knife is the fictional account of a typical doctor’s training in the high-acuity, high-pressure specialties of Surgery and Emergency Medicine. It is also the story of finding love while still being responsible for too many patients at all hours of the day and night.
Dr. Irv lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts with his lovely and grammatically correct wife. He loves the change of seasons, except for the winter, which he curses every year. His three artistic sons, and one medically-inclined son, all left for other parts of Massachusetts and New York.
All in all, he would rather be in South Beach.