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  • Michael Krakovskiy 5:05 am on July 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Brain Surgeon, Cerebrum, fatal infection, Firlik, Frontal lobe, fully qualified surgeon, Lobe, , , neurosurgeon, primitive tools, superbly gifted writer, , trained scientist, untreated earache, young roofer   

    Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside 

    Katrina Firlik is a neurosurgeon, one of only two hundred or so women among the alpha males who dominate this high-pressure, high-prestige medical specialty. She is also a superbly gifted writer–witty, insightful, at once deeply humane and refreshingly wry. In Another Day in the Frontal Lobe, Dr. Firlik draws on this rare combination to create a neurosurgeon’s Kitchen Confidential–a unique insider’s memoir of a fascinating profession.

    Neurosurgeons are renowned for their big egos and aggressive self-confidence, and Dr. Firlik confirms that timidity is indeed rare in the field. “They’re the kids who never lost at musical chairs,” she writes. A brain surgeon is not only a highly trained scientist and clinician but also a mechanic who of necessity develops an intimate, hands-on familiarity with the gray matter inside our skulls. It’s the balance between cutting-edge medical technology and manual dexterity, between instinct and expertise, that Firlik finds so appealing–and so difficult to master.

    Firlik recounts how her background as a surgeon’s daughter with a strong stomach and a keen interest in the brain led her to this rarefied specialty, and she describes her challenging, atypical trek from medical student to fully qualified surgeon. Among Firlik’s more memorable cases: a young roofer who walked into the hospital with a three-inch-long barbed nail driven into his forehead, the result of an accident with his partner’s nail gun, and a sweet little seven-year-old boy whose untreated earache had become a raging, potentially fatal infection of the brain lining.

    From OR theatrics to thorny ethical questions, from the surprisingly primitive tools in a neurosurgeon’s kit to glimpses of future techniques like the “brain lift,” Firlik cracks open medicine’s most prestigious and secretive specialty. Candid, smart, clear-eyed, and unfailingly engaging, Another Day in the Frontal Lobe is a mesmerizing behind-the-scenes glimpse into a world of incredible competition and incalculable rewards.

    From the Hardcover edition.

  • Michael Krakovskiy 9:40 pm on April 30, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Body, , Cerebrum, Claustrum, , , Darrell Sweet, , , , ,   

    News in Underpeople Research 

    CNN : “In January, an informal ethics committee at Stanford University endorsed a proposal to create mice with brains nearly completely made of human brain cells.

    Just in case, Greely said, the committee recommended closely monitoring the mice’s behavior and immediately killing any that display human-like behavior.”

    Colonel P.M.A Linebarger might have been a little bit off with predicting the timing of Underpeople creation.

    (part of the cover design for “Best of Cordwainer Smith” by Darrell Sweet)

    To quote professor Farnsworth: “You were all for preserving Hitler’s brain, but putting it inside a shark’s body – all of a sudden that’s going too far!!”

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