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Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside
     

Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside

4.4 14
by Katrina Firlik
 

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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

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Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Explores Life on the Inside 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For any woman that has ever considered being a surgeon, Another Day in the Frontal Lobe is an excellent introduction into the daily life of one of our nation¿s best. Katrina Firlik is a neurosurgeon, her job is to reconstruct damaged or malformed areas of the brain and spinal cord, remove tumors embedded in the brain tissue or bordering in cerebrospinal fluid, consult with anxious patients and their families about the treatment they are about to face, and teach aspiring undergraduates at the local university- all in a day¿s work. Personally, I have been debating as to what area in medicine I would like to devote myself to ever since I decided that I wanted to be a doctor in the fifth grade. Back when I was 10, all I knew was that I loved science and that I wanted to make a difference, but really had no idea as to what I would need to go through to make that dream come true. Luckily, reading Another Day in the Frontal Lobe has given me a much clearer idea of the road ahead Katrina Firlik¿s writing style is informative, educational, and personal. Although she is extremely intelligent, she does not write ¿over your head¿ nor does she water down explanations of important surgical procedures or testing methods to make brain surgery overly simple. Her unique way of explaining exactly what a specific test does in a detailed and thorough, yet comprehensible, manner makes the most complicated of practices fascinating. Firlik applies this same detailed style to her recounting of the educational process involved in becoming a neurosurgeon. The entire book is arranged in chronological order, beginning with her 4 years of undergraduate studies, moving through another four years of medical school, and ending with her year as chief resident after seven years of residency in neurosurgery. She incorporated the comical moments of her education, such as the ¿pimping¿ of interns in the post-operation council, with her frustrations- 3 AM phone call to return to the OR for an emergency operation after just leaving a double shift- to make her retelling of her 15-year venture come alive. When Firlik is applying to one of many residency programs, an interviewer gives her a powerful and haunting piece of advice, ¿Don¿t become a neurosurgeon unless there is absolutely nothing else you could ever see yourself doing.¿ This stunningly blunt council is both the cause for Firlik¿s affirmation of her decision to become a neurosurgeon as well as the catalyst for her favorite question when she feels close to a breaking point, ¿Why did I choose to be a neurosurgeon.¿ This is a renown question that many ask themselves in times of deep frustration when it appears that the hardest path possible was inevitably the one that was chosen. Although the question appears pessimistic, it is really the asking of it that reminds Firlik why she chose this demanding occupation in the first place- the challenge, the thrill, and the satisfaction of improving someone¿s life. Another Day in the Frontal Lobe has been my most realistic taste of what my potential future may be like. It will be another decade and a half of intense education after high school, a grueling climb marked with stress and tragedy to the top of medical hierarchy, and countless sleepless nights in which my choices make the difference between another¿s life and death. Despite all of this, I have learned from Firlik that with the challenge of being a surgeon comes the endless benefit of a lifetime of learning. Surgeons must constantly adapt to changes in technology and science itself, remain up-to-date on the latest finds in scientific journals, and continuously evolve their practice to meet the contemporary. Another Day in the Frontal Lobe demystifies the lengthy journey to becoming a surgeon and uniquely inspires pre-med hopefuls to never back down on a dream for fear of failing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Katrina has done an excellent job telling an engaging story about her start in medicine to her current cases. She adds a bit of humor throughout, and makes sure to clearly explain any medical terms.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You will love this book if you are the type that is fascinated by the vivid surgeries shown on those medical channels on cable TV. Also, if you ever considered going to medical school, whether you chose that path or not, this is the book for you. It's an honest and sincere account of Katrina Firlik experiences throughout medical school. I think it will be particularly relevant for women who are considering this career path. Her next book should continue with her experiences with her medical practice but also include how she manages to balance career and family. Many young women need to hear about these issues now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is filled with the drama of tragedy, learning to be with people in the midst of heartache and uncertainty, and pure excitement, as Ferlik learns her rare trade. Somehow Ferlik also infuses a great amount of humor into these tales of her internship, and this is honestly one of the funniest books I've ever read. Reading it for the second time now, the dry humor is more apparent. Along with other books about either neuroscience or the written experiences of those on the front lines of brain surgery or neurology, I rank this read as tops and give it an easy five stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a teenager who is very interested in majoring in biomedical engineering and minoring in neuroscience. I saw this book at my library and picked it up in a second. I read through the book really quickly, because it was so amazing. If you are interested in the brain at all, this book is really good. I actually took notes on the different diseases, tools, etc. I don't think there was anything bad about the book.
Hungry_Hippogriff More than 1 year ago
had really high hopes for this book. I truly enjoy the nitty, gritty stories of medicine and hoped this would really be an insider's look at neurosurgery. Alas, it was not. It was interesting and gave some great historical information about the development and advances of neurosurgery. The cases she presented were really interesting, but there weren't really many of them and she didn't really give much in the way of description as far as surgery goes. The explaination of the different diseases and afflictions of the brain was fascinating, however. It's not a bad read. In reflecting upon what she views as the arrogance of some of her collegues because they are in such a elite profession, she does come off as a bit arrogant and superior herself. We get it. You're awesome and things that laypersons wouldn't understand come as easily to her as breathing. The descriptions of other famous neurosurgeons, pioneers in the field, and their research and developments are interesting. I have to admit though, by the end chapter my eyes were glazing over a bit. I really, really wish the writing and presentation were better. This had great potential.
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