Dr. Michael VanRooyen, one of Harvard University Medical School's most distinguished physicians, takes us behind the scenes at an elite medical school to show us how emergency physicians are trained to make life-saving decisions and diagnoses.

The doctors who work our emergency rooms bring people back from the brink on a regular basis. But what does it take to make an emergency physician? This book provides an inside look into one of the world’s most elite medical schools-as told by one of its most distinguished professors and physicians.

In fast-paced, engaging prose, Dr. Michael VanRooyen takes us backstage at Harvard University Medical School as some of the world’s most highly trained doctors work to save lives, diagnose illnesses, and comfort grieving family members. It’s fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in how doctors work and train-and the life-altering challenges they face every day.


Dr. Michael VanRooyen is a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He is the founder of the Humanitarian Academy at Harvard, an educational program advancing humanitarian professionalism in the field of medicine. He is the author of the textbook Emergent Field Medicine, and has been published in over 70 publications on the topic of international emergency medicine and humanitarian assistance.

Dr. VanRooyen has served as an emergency physician in over thirty countries, including Rwanda, North Korea, Iraq, Darfur-Sudan, Somalia, Bosnia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has advised as a relief expert for Oxfam, Physicians for Human Rights, Save the Children, and many other non-governmental organizations, and served as policy advisor to UN OCHA and the World Health Organization. He has consulted as a physician with NASA, the US Secret Service, and the US Public Health Service.

John Hanc is the author of eleven books, including The Coolest Race on Earth, an award-winning memoir about his experience running the Antarctic Marathon; and Not Dead Yet, the autobiography of Type-1 diabetic bike racer Phil Southerland. He is a frequent contributor to many publications including Newsday, The New York Times, and Smithsonian. He is also a professor of journalism and communications at the New York Institute of Technology.

Author Description

John Hanc is the author of ten books, including two award-winning memoirs, The Coolest Race on Earth (Chicago Review Press, 2009) about his experience running the Antarctica Marathon and Not Dead Yet (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's Press) written with bike racer Phil Southerland, founder of Team Type 1.

A long-time contributor to Newsday in New York, and a contributing editor to Runner's World magazine, John Hanc's work also appears in The New York Times, Family Circle, Smithsonian and Yoga Journal.

Previous books include Jones Beach: An Illustrated History (Globe Pequot Press, 2007) with a cover blurb from Donald Trump, who called it a book that "any New Yorker would be proud to have in their collection"; Racing For Recovery: From Addict to Ironman co-authored with Todd Crandell (Breakaway Books, 2006), Running for Dummies (co-authored with the late Florence Griffith Joyner, IDG Books, 1999) and the best-selling running primer, The Essential Runner, (Lyons & Burford, 1994).

Hanc has lectured extensively on his books about Jones Beach-the iconic Long Island, New York oceanfront park-and his experience in the Antarctica Marathon. He has appeared in both large chain and independent bookstores, where his talks have drawn up to 100 people. He has also been interviewed on NPR and ABC radio networks.

Hanc is an associate professor at the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, where he teaches classes in journalism, writing and communications.

A graduate of Emerson College in Boston, he received his master's degree at the journalism school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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