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Brain Surgeon: A Doctor's Inspiring…

Brain Surgeon: A Doctor's Inspiring Encounters with Mortality and…

by Keith Black

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I did not complete reading this book. Dr. Black as many of his colleague neurosurgeons do has an ego that I got tired of hearing from. Do not recommend reading. ( )
  jsharpmd | Feb 1, 2012 |
As I am a survivor of a brain tumor, I was particular interested in reading this book and waited in anticipation for it to come to me through my local library. It wasn't what I hoped it would be. Dry reading for sure. I was after more 'client case' theme reading and this was all about the doctor himself. I didn't find the reading to be arrogant as some found it but bored by statements of fact. Just, a very clinical overview of this doctors profession, how he got there, his studies, etc. It wasn't what I was looking for but did, however, make me even more grateful that there are doctors out there that are dedicated to this area of medicine. Without them, I would be dead. ( )
1 vote justablondemoment | Jul 3, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Fascinating book. Dr. Black touches lightly here and there on a few instances of racism that he has found in his career, and I wish he had given us more on his thoughts about these experiences.

The book focuses mainly on Black's research work and the discoveries and projects taking place at the Center for Brain tumors which he directs. The most enthralling parts are the detailed explanations on how the brain works and how tumors develop, from a neurological and biological angle.

Dr. Black does a great job, as well, of humanizing his stories and helps the reader care for his patients and understand the importance of brain cancer research, as the most common type of brain cancer is also the deadliest kind. Moreover, due to environmental factors and life styles (such as, in all likelihood, the pervasive use of cellphones) there are more and more tumors diagnosed each year. That means that each and every one of us has a higher risk of falling victim to brain cancer at any point in time. Sobering thought.

The book is a learning experience and leaves one wanting more on the topic. It also leaves one with important information on who to improve one's health and lessen the risk for brain cancer.

Very much worth reading. ( )
  MissTrudy | Sep 12, 2009 |
A wonderfully engrossing book, not only about the medical aspects of brain tumors and how they are treated, but also has autobiographical aspects. The story of a gifted child, and how his parents encouraged him, is also an interesting one. ( )
  Harvester | Jul 29, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
There is no doubt that Dr. Black is brilliant. He dissected frogs at the age of 7. During his 10th grade summer job in a research lab he did heart transplants on dogs. As a medical student he made important medical discoveries.

He is now a world-reknowned brain surgeon, specializing in the removal of particularly difficult brain tumors. However, while this book is a compendium of his "encounters with mortality and miracles," I did not find it particularly inspiring. It reads like a Reader's Digest adaptation of My Most Memorable Character. There is no music in the prose.

And it may have just been me, but I found the tone of the book to be incredibly smug. This is not to say that Dr. Black is not justified in being proud of his accomplishments, and I certainly didn't wish any of his patients harm, but didn't he EVER make a wrong decision or mistake?

His patients are for the most part courageous, but Dr. Black even seems to claim some of the credit for their spirit and courage. For example, when the family and brother of a recuperating Irish patient who is despondent and despairing of life are unable to brighten his spirits, Dr. Black saves the day: He tells the patient that he'll go get some whiskey and that they'll have a drink together.. Then the light comes back into his patient's eyes. "Gerald Kelly was back. Behind me I could hear Thomas crying."

Although I can't recommend this book, I will say that if I ever have a brain tumor, I might want Dr. Black to be the one to operate on me, if he is as good as he describes himself to be. ( )
3 vote arubabookwoman | Jul 3, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446581097, Hardcover)

Welcome to tiger country: the treacherous territory where a single wrong move by a brain surgeon can devastate-or end-a patient's life. This is the terrain world-renowned neurosurgeon Keith Black, MD, enters every day to produce virtual medical miracles. Now, in BRAIN SURGEON, Dr. Black invites readers to shadow his breathtaking journeys into the brain as he battles some of the deadliest and most feared tumors known to medical science. Along the way, he shares his unique insights about the inner workings of the brain, his unwavering optimism for the future of medicine, and the extraordinary stories of his patients-from ministers and rock stars to wealthy entrepreneurs and uninsured students-whom he celebrates as the real heroes.

BRAIN SURGEON offers a window into one man's remarkable mind, revealing the anatomy of the unflinching confidence of this master surgeon, whose personal journey brought him from life as a young African-American boy growing up in the civil rights era South to the elite world of neurosurgery. Through Dr. Black's white-knuckle descriptions of some of the most astonishing medical procedures performed today, he reveals the beauty and marvel of the human brain and the strength and heroism of his patients who refuse to see themselves as victims. Ultimately, BRAIN SURGEON is an inspiring story of the struggle to overcome odds-whether as a man, a doctor, or a patient.

"BRAIN SURGEON is an inspirational book about true heroes-readers will marvel at Keith Black's achievements both as a doctor and as a man, and will be in awe of his patients' courage and will to survive." --Denzel Washington

I often get asked who the best doctor is in the world for various ailments. Truth is, it's a hard question. When it comes to brain tumors, however, the answer is pretty clear: Keith Black. He is the doctor people find when all the other doctors have given up. He is that guy. This book is about the heroic patients he has already helped and saved. If you want a rare, behind-the-curtain look at the life of one of the most pre-eminent neurosurgeons in the world, pick up Brain Surgeon. And Keith, from one brain surgeon to another: thank you for honoring our profession. Well done. --Sanjay Gupta, MD, Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN and New York Times bestselling author of Chasing Life

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:22 -0400)

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"A compelling look at one man's journey into the inner workings of the brain"--Provided by publisher.

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