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Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain…
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Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the… (2006)

by Katrina Firlik

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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Probably worth reading if you are interested in medicine. It helps to not be a hypochondriac (I now suspect that I have both an AVM AND a brain tumor). On the other hand, it's poorly organized and sometimes the writing seems almost stream-of-consciousness. I kept wondering whether anyone edited it or someone just handed Firlik a legal pad and said, "You have an interesting job--write about it."

Firlik herself comes across as a bit arrogant, although I suppose that is just what happens when you spend your days operating on people's brains. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Probably worth reading if you are interested in medicine. It helps to not be a hypochondriac (I now suspect that I have both an AVM AND a brain tumor). On the other hand, it's poorly organized and sometimes the writing seems almost stream-of-consciousness. I kept wondering whether anyone edited it or someone just handed Firlik a legal pad and said, "You have an interesting job--write about it."

Firlik herself comes across as a bit arrogant, although I suppose that is just what happens when you spend your days operating on people's brains. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
Interesting if you are curious about life as a neurosurgeon. Some of the details made me nausious, especially those about the guy who had maggots in his brain. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Interesting if you are curious about life as a neurosurgeon. Some of the details made me nausious, especially those about the guy who had maggots in his brain. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
It made me a little squeamish to read detailed, vivid accounts of brain surgery, anatomy- drilling holes in skulls and pulling back skin flaps, eek. However, this was an intriguing read, and didn't devolve into predictable territory of Woman Neurosurgeon in a Man's World very often.

Cynically, I wonder if she'd have gotten published if she weren't so blonde and pretty. ( )
  ewillse | Mar 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Frontal Lobe is a quick, light read and a must-read for anyone who's ever heard the words "Hey, it's not brain surgery" and paused to wonder what that meant.
 
Obviously proud of being one of a minority of females in a field dominated by alpha males, Firlik tells a good story. One after another, in fact.
 
Firlik's honest, forthright account of what it means to be a neurosurgeon is as refreshing as it is instructive, and at book's end, readers will feel as though they've come away with something truly valuable, something prime-time TV simply cannot produce: an education.
 
In Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside, an uneven, overlong but often thoughtful account of a neurosurgeon's seven-year residency, Katrina Firlik recounts some of her more wrenching cases. In the process, she demonstrates unusual empathy -- sometimes a rarity in her specialty, one of medicine's toughest and most remunerative.
 
It is close to amazing that a surgeon could make her life and her work interesting to a lay readership, but she does, and she does it with wit, with flair — and with sharp writing that never ascends to the out-of-reach level of medicine-speak. She tosses around a lot of medical terms, but she carefully explains all of them, and she uses anecdotes about real people to bring it home.
 
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For Andy
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The brain is soft.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812973402, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:00 -0400)

An autobiographical account of the life and career of Katrina Firik, a neurosurgeon.

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