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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, , , neurosurgeon, primitive tools, superbly gifted writer, Surgeon, 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 5:05 am on July 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Surgeon   

    Hot Lights, Cold Steel: Life, Death and Sleepless Nights in a Surgeon’s First Years 

  • Michael Krakovskiy 5:05 am on July 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Surgeon, William A. Nolen, William Nolen   

    The Making of a Surgeon 

    The Making of a Surgeon is the memoir of an apprentice. It is William Nolen’s story of his transformation from student to practitioner, from a brash medical school graduate to a surgeon possessing skill and judgment. And, as happens in the best memoirs, with his brilliant flash of self-discovery William Nolen illuminates the world outside himself.

    First published in 1970, The Making of a Surgeon received critical acclaim and touched a world audience. The book’s universal themes propelled it to the rarified heights of a best seller. In this reprinted edition, with a foreword by the author’s daughter, his classic returns.

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