Book Cover

Good Medicine, Hard Times

Memoir of a Combat Physician in Iraq

Edward P. Horvath, MD

240 pp. 6 x 9
12 b&w illus.

Pub Date: July, 2022

Subjects: History

Imprint: Trillium

Order Paperback $23.95 $19.16 Get 20% off plus free US shipping   ISBN: 978-0-8142-5825-5
Order PDF ebook$23.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-8213-7

Listen to Col. Horvath on the WarDocs podcast

“[Good Medicine, Hard Times] is valuable for its on-the-ground details about the Iraq conflict, its granular evocation of day-to-day life during wartime, but even more so for its witness to the selflessness of emergency doctoring. The world would be a better place if we all treated each another with the concern, compassion and caring that Dr. Horvath prescribes.” —Samuel Sweeney, Wall Street Journal

“A compelling story of the professionalism, compassion, and life-saving capacity our Army doctors bring to the battlefield—and of the lasting burdens they bear.” —General George W. Casey Jr., US Army (Ret.)

“An uncommon story of a physician-soldier with an unwavering commitment to serve America’s sons and daughters on the battlefield. Colonel Horvath displays extraordinary grit and compassion as he perseveres to treat the wounded—even enemy combatants—no matter the struggle.” —Brigadier General Lisa L. Doumont, US Army (Ret.)

“What happened in the wars America has fought should never be forgotten. Colonel Horvath’s memoir of the Iraq War—a doctor’s chronicle of saving lives at the precipices of dying—is a must-read testament to acts of valor in one of our hardest wars.” —Daniel Henninger, Deputy Editorial Page Editor, Wall Street Journal

“An intimate recollection of daily life in a US Army combat support hospital by a physician-soldier in Iraq. Dr. Horvath’s words capture the meaning of service: commitment, dedication to duty, and intense love of country.” —Colonel James S. Wu, MD

“In this brilliant, engaging, and deeply moving book, Dr. Horvath shares stories of joy and sorrow, tragedy and triumph, displaying extraordinary compassion toward his fellow human beings—be they friend or foe. In a world of cynicism and despair, readers will be inspired by what selflessness can accomplish.” —Stjepan G. Mestrovic, author of “The Good Soldier” on Trial

Good Medicine, Hard Times is the moving memoir of one of the most senior-ranking combat physicians to have served on the battlefields of the Iraq war. Former US Army Colonel Edward P. Horvath, MD, brings readers through the intricacies of war as he relates stories of working to save the lives of soldiers, enemies, and civilians alike and shares the moral dilemmas faced by medical professionals during war. Enlisting in the Army as a fifty-nine-year-old physician, Dr. Horvath knew that he had a greater calling in life: to save the “neighbor’s kid”—no matter who that neighbor or the kid might be. Over his three deployments, he strived to do that amid cultural clashes, insurgent attacks, military controversy, and the suffering of children caught in the crossfire. In his clear-eyed, empathetic, and unforgettable account, he shows what it means to provide compassionate care in the most trying of circumstances, always keeping in mind that every person he cares for is someone’s child.

Author Photo

Edward P. Horvath, MD, is a veteran of the US Army Reserve Medical Corps. In 2011, he was Task Force Deputy Commander and Chief of Clinical Services for a combat support hospital near Tikrit, Iraq. Previously, he staffed the emergency room and outpatient clinic at the same base. Colonel Horvath was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and later received one of the nation’s highest military honors, the Legion of Merit. In 2013, he received the American Red Cross Hero Award for extraordinary courage in saving lives. He is a primary care physician at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.


Introduction to War
Chapter 1        Where It Begins
Chapter 2        Operation Bright Star
Chapter 3        Christmas in Kuwait
Chapter 4        Heading Downrange
Chapter 5        Abu Ghraib Prison
Chapter 6        Goodbye Abu Ghraib
Chapter 7        I Wonder Who You’d Be Today
Chapter 8        The Chicken Demon
Chapter 9        Troop Medical Clinic
Chapter 10      Back to Baghdad
Chapter 11      Camp Bucca
Chapter 12      An Appeal
Chapter 13      Caring for the Enemy
Chapter 14      The Long Road Home
Chapter 15      I’m Here Again
Chapter 16      Unblinded
Chapter 17      MASCAL
Chapter 18      The Neighbor’s Kid
Chapter 19      The Terrorist and the Solider
Chapter 20      COB Speicher
Chapter 21      Getting Checked Out
Chapter 22      Operation Iron Triangle
Chapter 23      One More Time
Chapter 24      Training without End
Chapter 25      The War Resumes
Chapter 26      Suicide
Chapter 27      Burdens of Command
Chapter 28      Rockets: The War Heats Up
Chapter 29      Fathers and Sons
Chapter 30      Going Home for Good
Chapter 31      The Final Mission

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