Featured Author: David Z. Hirsch

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David Z Hirsch is the pen name of Maryland physician and author of Didn’t Get Frazzled. He graduated from Wesleyan University, received a medical degree from NYU School of Medicine, and completed an internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Bayview. Despite all that, he has never stopped writing and, even more surprisingly, scribbles quite legibly. If you’d like to read his official (fictional) bio, check out his author page on Amazon. It is completely and amusingly absurd.


  1. When did you start writing? I’ve always enjoyed writing but it wasn’t until college that the idea of writing a novel burrowed into my brain and refused to budge. After medical school, I decided to get serious about completing a novel and spent the next decade or so working on it. That project ultimately failed, but I learned quite a bit in the process and started a new novel that would eventually become Didn’t Get Frazzled.

  2. What is your inspiration? Moments that are surprising, emotional, or surreal inspire me. They tend to be the most fertile soil for fascinating stories.

  3. How did you come up with your stories? Many of the stories are based on my own experience, although the book is a work of fiction (despite the assumptions of several reviewers!) While I felt obligated to be true to the emotions of my medical school experience, I allowed imagination and flights of fancy drive the details.

  4. Where is your favorite place to write? I write at my desktop computer at home. Not very exciting, I know, but I’ve tried writing in more exotic locals and learned that I focus better at home.

  5. Do you plan your stories before starting? I create a basic outline to prevent the story from lurching into a ditch but otherwise let my characters have free reign. One of the great joys of writing is to let your characters surprise you.

  6. When did you first consider yourself an author? While I’ve always felt like a writer, I never really felt like an author until I saw my book on Amazon. Holding the paper version was pretty cool, too.

  7. Do you see writing as a career? Writing is my avocation. I know that’s blasphemous to say among writers, but I take my writing as seriously as everyone else. I’ve just accepted the financial limitations.

  8. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Figuring out the genre of my own book, apparently. I’ve promoted Didn’t Get Frazzled as medical fiction or commercial fiction and then I win an award in the Humor/Comedy category.

  9. What was the hardest part of writing your book? First drafts. Once I have something on paper – no matter how feeble – I enjoy editing it to a shine.

  10. Can you share a little of your current work with us? My current novel is a magical fiction middle grade novel called Jake, Lucid Dreamer, which I plan to publish under my actual name (secret identity to be revealed!) It couldn’t be more different from Didn’t Get Frazzled. I realize that this is the opposite of what marketers recommend in building a brand, but I have to write what I’m passionate about or else why bother? I’m looking at an early 2018 release and I cannot wait to introduce Jake to the world.

  11. Do you have advice for other writers? Follow your passion and persevere against all odds. If you’re going to fail, you might as well fail doing what you love. And hey, if you don’t fail, even better!

  12. Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers? Thank you, thank you, thank you. Being able to share my joy, rage, and laughter with complete strangers is the beautiful and fundamental wonder of novel writing.

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Read our review of Didn’t Get Frazzled by David Z. Hirsch, M.D.

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Didn’t Get Frazzled by David Z. Hirsch, M.D.

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Seth Levine has always wanted to be a medical doctor and his first year of medical school consists of equal measurement of intimidation and being overwhelmed. Wanting to be able to share the agony, his friends are mostly medical students who can relate. Sometimes they meet at each other’s homes for parties, sometimes it’s just drinking themselves almost beyond the point of recovery, and other times it might be a really strange club with people doing really strange things. Medical school means open your mind to the future and why shouldn’t that mean the same for entertainment? Spending four years of school together leads to their lives entwining to the point that they rely on each other for support, entertainment, and if someone needs a new special friend there is always a kind student waiting to introduce their rather unattractive classmate from high school. These students’ attitude seems to be ‘work hard and play harder’, sometimes with a little more joy than commonsense.

Seth has a mischievous sense of humor. For example, naming his cadaver Homer, after the Simpsons, and then feeling he has done him a disservice and claims that he’s named after the Greek poet instead. In another instance, he helps a patient get out of the hospital by telling her to simply repeat, “I want to go home,” over and over to her doctor. Guess what? It works and with enough of it, her doctor is more than willing to send her home. There’s also the first gynecological exam, which consists of examining the instructor with three other students as witness. Eww. There is plenty of amusing tales to keep readers’ minds running in circles.

Seth’s girlfriend, April, is his buffer between school and his reality outside of medicine. She’s a bit of a quirky gal, sometimes taking herself a little too seriously, forcing Seth to adjust to these moments. They’ve been together since college, and even though he knows they’re not the perfect couple, he figures they’ll probably go on forever. Gradually, it dawns on him that his friends are not hers and that she is finding companions of her own. As his life becomes consumed by medical school, he’s not surprised when April announces she has found another man, a smarmy one who will focus only on her. They decide to ride it out for a month, due to their lease. For Seth, it can’t be over soon enough, especially since he hates her new man, Dennis, enough to daydream about punching his face in until he’s just a smear on the floor. He also finds he can barely manage to be civil, when she announces a weekend away with Dennis. He already knows that life without her will be a big challenge and, of course, there is an unattractive classmate waiting in the wings.

This book is entertaining from start to finish. Even with down moments that come with life, these people go through medical school focused on success and the shenanigans that give them just the right amount of laughter, the reader too. This is the grease to our squeaky wheels of life. There are moments that I found hilarious and I read it in two days, happy to spend my time with this book. It is more than worth your time.

And now for the stars!

  • Genre and general reading age – Contemporary fiction for mature readers.
  • Level of sexuality – Miniscule. After all, they’re studying a lot of anatomy in class already.
  • Is there graphic language? Only in ‘medicine-ese’.
  • Did I cry? No, no, no!
  • Did I laugh? Long and loud!
  • Level of character development – Seth can’t help but mature. He has no other choice.
  • Is this part of a series? No.

I’m more than happy to give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars!