When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery

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W. W. Norton, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
6 Reviews
Dramatic, moving, and utterly fascinating. --New York Times Book Review

With poignant insight and humor, When the Air Hits Your Brain chronicles one man's evolution from na´ve and ambitious young intern to world-class neurosurgeon. In electrifying detail, Frank Vertosick Jr. 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - awomanonabike - LibraryThing

A short medical memoir, not the kind of book I normally read, but I found it in Foyles when I was browsing in the medical section and dipped into it and enjoyed what I found. I felt the author was ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AdrianSamuels - LibraryThing

My post-surgery review meeting (for 2 craniotomies), was with Mark Wilson, my Specialist Registrar. He recommended this book to me. I purposely held off getting the book as I knew some of the content ... Read full review


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About the author (2008)

Frank T. Vertosick, Jr., M.D., is a neurosurgeon and author of When the Air Hits Your Brain, a highly acclaimed memoir of his surgical training. A former president of the Pennsylvania Neurosurgical Society and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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