Social Icons
In The Mix
June 18, 2019

Always on Call

Joshua Troke wears many hats - all in the name of helping people.

Lisa Rosen
  • Fox

Joshua Troke knows how to multitask.

An executive story editor on Fox's medical procedural The Resident, he's also an emergency medicine physician at UCLA and a flight surgeon with the Air Force Reserves. "Any one of the careers could be amazing," he says. "Writing has been the most surprising of them all."

Growing up in Lancaster, California, he always knew he was going to be a doctor. "To be honest, I didn't know writing was a career," Troke admits.

As an undergrad at UCLA, he worked nights as an emergency trauma technician in the ER of UCLA Medical Center. After med school at Stanford, he returned to UCLA for his residency but decided halfway through to join the Air Force Reserves as a flight surgeon.

Because he wasn't busy enough? "I have a lot of family with military experience and a personal interest in space medicine and space exploration — I'm a big sci- fi nerd," he explains. One of the job requirements was becoming a pilot, so add that to his accomplishments as well.

A few years ago, he was telling a friend in the entertainment industry about the possibility of practicing medicine on a space station or moon colony. "My friend said, 'There should be a show about that.' That conversation stuck in my mind. It hit this weird itch that I didn't know I had."

So Troke scratched, first by secretly taking screenwriting classes at UCLA Extension. He got into the CBS Writers' Program, then landed as a staff writer on CBS's ER-based Code Black. Unsure whether writing would work out, he continued working at the ER every weekend, and in the reserves during breaks.

But writing seems to be panning out. After Code Black was canceled, Fox's The Resident snapped him up. The other writers on the show — which recently wrapped season two and has been picked up for season three — pepper him with medical questions as they work on their scripts.

They also ask about their own ailments, and that's fine with Troke. "That's the big reason I became a doctor," he says. "To try to help people." What's more, juggling 10 to 15 patients in the ER at any given time "prepared me for chaos," Troke says.

So, yes, he can handle the rigors of a writers' room. "Creatively it can be stressful on your brain, but it's not life or death."

Viewers can catch up on The Resident on Hulu, Fox Now or Fox on Demand.

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine, Issue No. 5, 2019

Add Your Comment


August 12, 2020
August 04, 2020

Must See

Dream Doctors

In the time of Covid, what more could we want to hear from our lab-coated healers than “How can I help?” Read about these dream doctors in the latest emmy magazine.

Call to Action: Ingrid Rogers

Actress Ingrid Rogers calls upon decision-makers in all areas of the entertainment industry to create more opportunity for women of color in leading roles.

Under the Cover with New Amsterdam

A chat with our cover subjects on the show, what they're doing now, and what's coming up.

Browser Requirements
The sites look and perform best when using a modern browser.

We suggest you use the latest version of any of these browsers:

Visiting the site with Internet Explorer or other browsers may not provide the best viewing experience.

Close Window