Office Upstairs

A Doctor's Journey

Charles H. Banov M.D.

"Office Upstairs" The Book

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Office Upstairs: A Doctor’s Journey by Charles H. Banov, MD
Now in paperback!
Featured in Southern Living

“Banov describes the trials he faces as a doctor and the extraordinary patients he met along the way. His story, sprinkled with a liberal dose of humor, speaks of one man’s love for his fellows and of his passion to heal.”

Charleston, SC: Charles Banov, gifted storyteller and physician, shares tales from over fifty years of his love affair with medicine and looks back with honesty and humor at growing up Jewish in the South in the new paperback edition of his memoir. His journey—from anxious medical student to respected physician and president of a major international medical association—is filled with triumphs and setbacks, humor and sadness. They include the challenge of raising a special-needs daughter, the random stroll with the woman who turned out to be Oprah Winfrey and saving lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Banov shares these moments and more in his absorbing, often hilarious and always uplifting memoir.

The drama, humor, and humanity of Dr. Banov’s many years as a practicing physician will enrich and inspire medical students, health care professionals and people everywhere who try to make a difference in their communities.

Praise for Office Upstairs: A Doctor’s Journey

“... charming and readable memoir….Future historians of Charleston will rely on this book as a primary source, and will be delighted and entertained.”
— The Post and Courier
Robert Rosen, author of A Short History of Charleston

“A very compelling memoir by a wise, curious, insightful physician practicing in Charleston who shares his life’s story. The book is both touching and, at times, humorous. I could not put this memoir down until I was at the end—and then I wanted Dr. Banov to tell me more.”
— Sandlapper Magazine

Readers Comments:

"The stories there were just wonderful! Full of warmth and humor, it was the perfect read for while on vacation from my own practice. It truly reminded me of perspectives and priorities. I would love the opportunity to hear more stories in person!"
— Physician

"I read your book, “Office Upstairs,” and I loved it? It made me laugh, and it made me cry, and it re-inspired me. Your respect for people and passion about being a physician shine through your words. Your poignant vignettes show why Medicine is the best profession…It has soul."
— Psychiatrist

"What a wonderful story. I loved your humor and poignant stories."
— Medical Educator

"What an accomplishment!"
— Pharmaceutical Rep.

"Your book did so much to lift my spirits."
— Author

"A charming memoir"
— Registered Nurse

"The depth of your respect for your patients and for the privilege of ministering to them resonated in my heart and mind. Your book makes one feel the honor of working in the health field."
— Mental Health Worker

"Not often can a single book make you laugh, think, learn, cry and be inspired all at the same time. Thank you for sharing your many experiences and lessons you’ve learned in life. "
Psychiatric Counselor

"Your book is warm and funny – just like you! Thank you for sharing it with the world and for your generosity!"
— Candidate for U.S Congress

"The book is a gem."
— Poet

"The book is outstanding. "
— Medical School Dean

"…warm engrossing memoir. I wish I had a physician like Dr. Banov!"
— Author and Critic

"Anyone reading this book will want this man as their doctor."
— Book Critic

"Dr. Charles Banov possesses a gift both generational and Southern: the ability to turn one’s remembered life into an endless series of lively anecdotes. Dr. Banov possesses a certain wisdom gained from life as a doctor, one you hope all doctors have – that the human touch is the most important element of medicine, not replaceable by all the technology in the world."
— Literary Critic

Charles Banov, MD, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and has lived there most of his life, though he has also traveled and taught in more than seventy-five countries. He has lectured on the subject of allergies throughout the world and was a leader of many national and international medical societies.

For more information, visit

The History Press, based in Charleston, South Carolina and Salem, Massachusetts, brings a new way of thinking to history publishing by producing regional history titles by excellent historians and striving to make these books available to a wide audience.

Katie Parry |
Charles H. Banov, M.D. |
Telephone: 843-971-6930

This book tells of the fascinating stories of the many exciting experiences in Dr. Banov’s adventuresome life:

In 1951 Dr. Banov was kidnapped and held for ransom by rebels while working on an oil tanker docked in Venezuela.

In the late 1950’s while still a resident at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Dr. Banov helped develop a machine that enabled paralyzed patients held in iron lungs to read with device operated by squeezing their eyes. He modestly proclaims that his breakthrough helped many people pass the time.

Among his many achievements, Dr. Banov was one of the first physicians in Charleston to open a desegregated waiting room.

In 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Dr. Banov assembled a group of physicians to take over the care of critically ill patients remaining at the Charleston Naval Hospital when the staff was evacuated for active duty.

In 1973, before autism was a household word, Dr. Banov and his wife Nancy, along with actors Tony Curtis and Lloyd Nolan testified before the U.S. Senate on behalf of federal funding for autism which resulted in the inclusion of autism in the Developmental Disabilities Act.

Dr. Banov helped discover latex allergy in the 1980’s

Participated in a state department sponsored intelligence gathering operation during the cold war in South America and the Soviet Union

Participated in over 100 clinical pharmaceutical research projects

After Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Banov, nearly 75, traveled to a small town in Texas to help take care of displaced patients.. Due to lack of facilities, the first night he slept on the floor of the jail.

Trained in bioterrorism medicine, he is a volunteer in the Israeli Defense Forces.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, among them are the Distinguished Service Award and the Distinguished Fellow Award from the American College of Allergy , Asthma, and Immunology.

An annual award to students for humanitarian contributions was established in his name at the Medical University of South Carolina, the Dr. Charles Banov Humanitarian Award.

Office Upstairs
By Charles H. Banov, MD (The History Press )

Over the course of his career, Dr. Charles Banov has been held hostage by Venezuelan pirates and monitored by Soviet intelligence officers. Had it not been for a mysterious hiker, however, he might never have set his story to paper.

During a group nature walk at a Scottsdale, Arizona, resort, he noticed a woman in large sunglasses who seemed to be by herself. Not wanting her to feel left out, Banov joined her and, finding her “a charming conversationalist,” told her about his medical practice in Charleston and his worldwide exploits as an allergist. The woman advised him to write a book, and the two parted amicably.

Only then did his wife inform him that he had been reminiscing with Oprah Winfrey.

The resultant memoir, Office Upstairs: A Doctor’s Journey, details Banov’s journey into medicine—his motivations, missteps, and moments of whimsy. From Charleston’s Jewish community of the 1930s to the three-building town of Pettus, Texas, where he first hung his shingle as a Navy physician, Banov describes the trials he faced as a doctor and the extraordinary patients he met along the way. His story, sprinkled with a liberal dose of humor, speaks of one man’s love for his fellows and of his passion to heal. —Lauren Simpson


© 2007 Charles Banov M.D. , All Rights Reserved