Thirteen Months a Year

At the end of the 1960's a married couple Max and Jan King are interns at a large municipal hospital. They struggle with learning to become physicians following the thirteen four week "rotations" that mark the final passage before qualifying for medical licensure. During this tumultuous era they work long hours in a challenging environment while trying to preserve their marriage. After four difficult years of medical school Max is very discouraged. He was lucky to get into the internship--based on his wife's record. He will try to find himself, starting on the Jail Ward, while his wife is in a different part of the County Hospital complex. Along his way he encounters Abe Grant, a bona fide radical doctor, who draws him back into activism--something that nearly cost him his med school graduation. The doctors at County become outraged by the miserable conditions, capped by a disastrously botched deluge of patients. They hold a heal-in, trying to influence the county government to improve conditions. Max and Abe become involved with a radical community group, which puts them in danger. Towards the end of the year Max has found himself. His marriage is intact and he's selected to lead the activist doctors the next year. As chariman of the Medical Standards Committee his troubles are starting all over again. His internship ends with an unworldy night duty covering for absent doctors and treating desperately sick patients.




Stone Mother

Henry Rex Greene


Historical fiction
Medical fiction




The Medical Trilogy ends in 1975. In 1970 Max and Jan are residents in internal medicine and pediatrics. Max must address another County hospital budget shortfall. His best friend Abe Grant leads a press conference protesting the budget. He mentions that dozens of patients have died from inadequate resources, which precipitates an investigation of the “ringleaders.” Fortunately, Supervisor Hahn orders another investigation that confirms their complaints. Jan suffers through a brutal first year of residency and has an affair. Their second child is born with a blood problem inconsistent with Max’s paternity. Knowing Jan’s stress he lets it pass. After she has a second affair he sends her to Abe’s psychiatrist. Meanwhile Max has become the founding president of a national organization of interns and residents. For his third year he’s chief resident and fills in as a hematology fellow. He has a harmless flirtation with Allie Mann, a brilliant resident. Jan finishes her training and works in pediatric ER. She’s a bored housewife and craves excitement. They take up SCUBA diving. Max nearly dies in an accident. He recovers in time to negotiate the first union contract with the County hospitals. Jan’s best girl friend dies in an auto accident, adding to her unhappiness. Max starts an oncology fellowship and engineers a take-over of the AMA’s housestaff section. He also persuades the union to secure a PSRO contract with the federal government to review and authorize payment for Medicare in forty LA hospitals. Under pressure from the County government he fires Abe from the PSRO board. Jan starts a fellowship, but their marriage is in trouble. She uses cocaine to bolster her moods. They see Nathaniel Branson, the former lover of Ayn Rand. Despite his brilliant counseling their marriage deteriorates, capped by Max’s brief affair with Herb Hafner’s Dream Date of the year. The affair ends quickly, and he terminates his political activities. They look for a home in Pasadena, where they will go into practice. Despite a hostile reception both quickly become established. They seem to turn a corner until a fateful trip to Hawaii to celebrate the end of Max’s AMA career. Their marriage doesn’t survive the after-effects of the trip.