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When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery

When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery [Kindle Edition]

Frank Jr. Vertosick
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Dramatic, moving, and utterly fascinating." The New York Times Book Review"

Product Description

The story of one man's evolution from naive and ambitious young intern to world-class neurosurgeon.

With poignant insight and humor, Frank Vertosick Jr., MD, describes some of the greatest challenges of his career, including a six-week-old infant with a tumor in her brain, a young man struck down in his prime by paraplegia, and a minister with a .22-caliber bullet lodged in his skull. Told through intimate portraits of Vertosick’s patients and unsparing yet fascinatingly detailed descriptions of surgical procedures, When the Air Hits Your Brain—the culmination of decades spent struggling to learn an unforgiving craft—illuminates both the mysteries of the mind and the realities of the operating room.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 891 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (20 Feb 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006WOFB5C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,740 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The author says the first rule of neurosurgey is "You're never the same once the air hits your brain."

Full of the type of dark humor you would expect from medical profesisonals, this book chronicles the experiences of a neurosurgeon
from his days as a medical student to his present day practice in Pittsburg. It is very well-written and is intended for the layman (my guess is that fans of the TV show "ER" would love this book).

But be warned, emotionally it is a very hard book to read. Take for example the story of the woman who is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor while early in a pregancy. The author's story of her fight to live
just long enough to deliver her child cannot help but reduce the reader to tears.

The book also forces the reader to realize how quickly the body can betray and fail to function. It can be a scary realization when the neurosurgeon makes clear
how quickly life can end.

This book is an overlooked treasure. But keep your Kleenex close at hand, especially parents.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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3.0 out of 5 stars A different viewpoint. 24 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting but not as well written as that by henry mason also an nero surgeon and with a more flair, compassion and humour then this American version by way of training within the hospital,semed more "hit and miss" attitude, attitudes very
different in uk. The book is worth a read, if only to compare methods, types of surgery undertaken.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic 14 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Awh man, I read this in one sitting, eminently readable, fun, harrowing, cocky, humble. Recommendable to anyone with an interest in life.
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This book, and Katrina S. Firlik's Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside, which I have reviewed elsewhere, are two must reads for any would-be neurosurgeon.

This memoir follows Dr Vertosick Jr as he progresses from an early career "scheduling glitch" which results in a rotation in neurosurgery, instead of his then-preferred option of cardiac surgery. That led to a neurosurgical clerkship, then residency and, eventually, decades as a fully-fledged neurosurgeon.

Early in this book we are introduced to the advice given to Dr Vertosick Jr by a mentor, "When the your brain, you are never the same." This advice, with its implicit black humour, encapsulates all that is good, technically challenging and sometimes draining about neurosurgery.

For those familiar with neurosurgery, there are nuggets of information which foreshadow how particular scenarios will unfold. For everyone else, the book guides them on a journey during which they discover, as the narrator did, the highs and lows of working in a realm that even most medics and surgeons would rather shy away from.

Amongst the vignettes, even when relating technical aspects of the work of a neurosurgeon, Dr Vertosick Jr never loses track of the human cost.

The prose is eloquent, lucid and accessible, making this book a pleasure to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fab 23 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this book came recommended by a neurosurgeon that i actually work with & I recommend this book as a great inspiring read
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