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  • Michael Krakovskiy 5:05 am on July 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Brain Surgeon, , fatal infection, Firlik, Frontal lobe, fully qualified surgeon, Lobe, , Medical technology, 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 10:51 pm on May 30, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dental implant, , Implant, Medical technology, , Prosthetics, Prosthodontology, , ,   

    Lighsabertooth 

    Update on my exoskeleton troubles. I finally got around to have some work done on my implant. As you can see, there’s a big ass titanium screw where my tooth used to be. For now I have to wear a temporary tooth which is not that bad looking at all, while waiting for the final crown to be fabricated.

    The implant looks weirdly like Luke’s second lightsaber.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 7:44 am on January 26, 2003 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Condom, HIV/AIDS, Medical technology, , , Sexual health   

    Down the Memory Lane 

    When I was in high school, I got into this summer program for underprivileged kids. We’d work 4 days in a children’s camp near Floyd Bennet Field, and then for 1 day we’d spend a day in a training center.

    The job was somewhat easy – a couple of hours cleaning and then helping camp counselors with activities. I mostly helped with fishing – casting the rods and baiting the hooks and such (I was the only one in the lot of us who had that skill). One kid even caught a fluke once. But everyone involved got a nice tan and a lot of fresh air.

    The training part was a bit demeaning though. I remember how they staged a little game show where if you answered a question right, you got a condom. White for 1 point, red for 3 points and black for 5 points. Many of my co-workers already had children, so the idea was valid. But geeks like me usually don’t get to have sex in high school, so that was a bit demeaning. I am not even talking about the fact that the instructor chuckled when he assigned color values to the “prizes”.

     
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