Friday, July 15, 2022

Every Third Night: An Interview with Author Mitch Maiman

About Dr. Mitchell Maiman became a physician at age twenty-four and is now retired. As a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology and sub-specialist in Gynecologic Oncology, he has had a distinguished academic, clinical, and research career in medicine and served as both a Director of Gynecologic Oncology and Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at major New York City-based university hospitals. He has been recognized for his numerous educational contributions in the field and his devotion and commitment to the teaching of residents and fellows.

Mitch lives with his wife, Dr. Judy Levy, in Long Island, New York, and is an avid tennis player and practitioner of yoga. They first met during their residency training. This is his first novel.

Book Details 

Every Third Night is an eye-opening yet poignant novel set in a busy, dehumanizing, and unyielding New York City residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1984. It brings the reader into the real world of medicine at a time of limited supervision and brutal duty hours through the vantage points of young physicians enduring stressful conflicts and volatile relationships.

Jimmy Zito seemingly has it all—strikingly handsome, brilliant clinical skills, and a talented teacher—but a troubled past and a rash of new demands leave him struggling to survive in his last month of training. He desperately tries to guide his fellow residents through their own personal traumas but is not as prepared to handle the pressure as others might think, especially considering the unchecked aberrant behavior of attending physicians, the highly emotional demands of Ob-Gyn, and the turmoil surrounding an ultra-needy girlfriend and stubborn father.

As Jimmy and his colleagues grapple with the overwhelming friction of their circumstances, the intertwined subplots collide and come crashing down when a haunting mishap leaves the program reeling and Jimmy’s life forever transformed.

Author and Book Questions – Interview 

AIM: What is your favorite Quote or Words to live by?

Mitch Maiman: “Writing is its own reward” – Henry Miller.

For those of us who are blessed with the ability to effectively compose the written word, nothing else is necessary. It doesn’t matter if you are recognized for your work, compensated for your efforts, or universally admired or detested. Writing is pure joy. The process, whatever your unique and individual form of it might be, is like cooking the greatest of gourmet meals, with the completed manuscript becoming the savory dinner. The beauty lies in the elation of expression, in relating your version of the world in whatever style suits you. You could delete your entire novel the moment it is finished, or print it out only to rip it up and throw it in the trash, and the result should be the same – a sense of accomplishment, comfort and delight in your ability to create.

AIM:  In your book, who is your favorite/most relatable character?

Mitch Maiman: The protagonist, Jimmy Zito. He is complex young man, with an enormous amount of internal conflict that characterizes so many of our lives. In addition, although outwardly he seems very put together and stable, his inner demons haunt his ability to find true peace in his life. One-dimensional characters may be functional in the simplest of movies or on television series, but good novelists must create identities that are believable and move the reader. Ones that elicit emotion. And for that to happen, the stars of every novel must grapple with similar issues that plague real people’s lives. Jimmy Zito is all of that.

AIM: In your book, what is your favorite chapter?

Mitch Maiman: Chapter 29, by far. That is the place where the entire novel comes together, where all the sub-plots merge and the story becomes whole. When I started the novel, I had absolutely no idea where the plot would take me. I simply created the characters and let them emerge and develop their distinct personalities. I allowed their growth to dictate the progression of the plot. Then, and only then, could the story line logically proceed accordingly. I didn’t know how Chapter 29 would turn out until I completed Chapter 28.

AIM: Please share your favorite excerpt from you book.

Mitch Maiman: “He used a fresh bar of soap to violently clean every crevice of his body as if the force and completeness of this ritual could remove the pain from his core. His tears mixed with the water from the showerhead, and at times seemed equal in volume.

     As steam continued to accumulate around him, he cleaned himself into utter exhaustion, using the last ounce of his energy to turn the silver knob

expelling the water to counterclockwise completion.”

     This excerpt illustrates the obsessive desperation that the protagonist demonstrated in attempting to rid himself of his awful experience.

AIM: Please share your favorite quote from your book.

Mitch Maiman: “Sensations were suppressed until the next hour or next day or next month, and vague anxiety lingered indefinitely until it became outright discomfort.”

     This quote exemplifies the poisonous quagmire of residency training and its inherent sense of helplessness.

AIM: Explain your book cover design concept and how you came up with the idea.

Mitch Maiman: The book cover design was created in an effort to transmit three distinct messages. First, the life of a resident, continuing to work as the sun comes up, unshaven and obviously awake all night, exhausted beyond comprehension. Second, the shabby conditions of the environment; unmade bunk beds, disheveled on-call room, dirty cups of coffee and medical records randomly dispersed in the environment. The paradoxical expectation that first class medical care is expected to be delivered in third class surroundings. And third, this dedicated young professional still trying to concentrate and perform his job no matter what the obstacles. Commitment even in the face of turmoil. Dedication despite hypocrisy.

     Coming up with the idea was easy. I just imagined myself enduring the countless sleepless nights in the hospital during my own residency training, creating an internal picture of my actual life during that difficult time.

AIM: Even though your book is Fiction is it based on a real-life experience?

Mitch Maiman: Yes, it is based not only on my own experiences during a grueling residency program in a large New York City municipal hospital in the 1980’s, but undoubtedly on the similar encounters of thousand of my colleagues throughout that time period and others. In addition, although conditions in health care training have dramatically improved over the last couple of decades, many of the issues still glaringly exist today, and our youngest and our brightest physician pool is still exposed to unnecessary hardship and trauma. My novel attempts to bring the civilian reader into this foreign world of health care, while, at the same time, potentially validating the career experiences of the physician reader.


Purchase Links:  

No comments:

Post a Comment