When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery

When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery

by Frank Vertosick Jr. MD


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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

ISBN-13: 9780393330496
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/23/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 138,676
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Frank Vertosick Jr., MD, is the author of Why We Hurt and When the Air Hits Your Brain. He retired from surgery due to Parkinson’s disease in 2002, but he still treats office patients in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Introduction     11
The Rules of the Game     21
Slackers, Keeners, and Wild Cards     25
Thanks for Everything     45
A Night in the Street, a Night in the Chair     55
The Museum of Pain     70
Ailments Untreatable     94
Surgical Psychopaths     114
If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It     144
A Bit of Hard Cheese     168
Rebecca     188
Nightmares, Past and Future     209
The Wheel of Life     226
Belonging     250
Postscript     269

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When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Humanbean More than 1 year ago
It may seem odd to say brain surgery and what leads up to it is entertaining, but in this book it is. The book follows the life of it's author as he becomes a neurosurgeon. I found the description of hospitals and their sub-cultures interesting. You feel as if you are there when these events are unfolding. His explanation of the brain's functions were far from boring. You don't have to be in the medical field to enjoy this book. This was an easy read and well worth my time.
Anonymous 28 days ago
so interesting
AdrianSamuels on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 was going to be difficult for me to cope with. After a couple of months of the title sitting on my to-do list, I had to order it. I was right, it is a gut wrenching book, it's also very, very good and I recommend it to you, if you have a passing interest in your 'wetware'.
EmreSevinc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dr. Vertosick provides a very lively and personal account of his neurosurgery career. He has a very good sense of humour, while trying to correct some TV-induced wrong assumptions about the medical field he doesn't hesitate to talk about how he received some little but critical help from a patient who watched some medical TV series :)He describes his transition from being a very young student of medicine, to becoming an assistant at the world's best neurosurgery department, and finally to becoming an expert neurosurgeon under the supervision of another very disciplined and famous expert doctor. While doing that he helps the reader see the intricacies and beauty of that small, fatty, bloody tissue which makes us what we are: the brain.After all the difficult cases he describes I truly believe that one has to be really crazy to become a neurosurgeon and operate on brain, or really love that field of study (maybe both). Dr. Vertosick made me realize once again what a miraculous thing that brain of ours is.As a book of popular science I can compare the quality and smoothness of narration to one of my favorite authors, Oliver Sacks.PS: It was nice to see the name of a Turkish neurosurgeon Prof. Dr. Gazi Ya¿argil in the book, too.
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