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

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

4.8 16
by Keith Black, Arnold Mann
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In the pages of this book you will become acquainted with the wisdom, experiences, and intuitive powers of Dr. Keith Black...a warrior who fights to allow his patients to continue to touch and experience the world, and to preserve the place within us that houses our very nature." —Forest Whitaker

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"

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

Publishers Weekly

Black, chair of the department of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, reflects on his extraordinary life and career. As an African-American growing up in Alabama and Ohio, Black benefited from the emphasis his scholarly parents put on learning: "I was brought up to believe there was nothing that I could not do," and he published his first scientific paper at age 17 and went on to pioneer blood-brain barrier research to enable chemotherapy drugs to reach brain tumors directly. Introducing the reader to his colleagues and patients, Black tours the interior of the brain with detailed accounts of delicate surgical procedures: "Under the microscope I could see the delicate latticework of blood vessels covering the brainstem, all of which absolutely had to be preserved." Documenting the risks and rewards of the procedures he performs, he also examines racial hurdles he had to leap to become a neurosurgeon. Black is equally skilled as an author, alternating incisive writing about incisions with his personal memoir, insightful and inspirational. (Mar. 25)

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Library Journal

Neurosurgeon Black (director, Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Inst., Cedars-Sinai Medical Ctr.) gives readers a glimpse into his life's work, beginning when he was a child who dissected bugs and had a fascination with science and medicine. Today, he removes life-threatening brain tumors from patients by going into delicate parts of the brain he calls "tiger country"-where one misstep can have devastating consequences. Black renders the complexities of the surgeries accessible for laypeople, and his descriptions of patients who seek his care can be exciting. Despite an overuse of metaphors, such as "hydra-headed monster" and "growing like an ogre under a bridge" to describe tumors, this well-written book presents an engrossing view into the life of a surgeon performing life-saving medical miracles. Recommended for larger public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ11/15/08.]
—Dana Ladd

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446198141
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
08/17/2011
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
712,087
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Internationally renowned neurosurgeon and scientist Keith Black, MD is the director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute and director of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. At age 17, he published his first scientific paper, which earned a Westinghouse Science Award. He completed an accelerated college program at the University of Michigan and earned both his undergraduate and medical degrees in six years. Before joining Cedars-Sinai, Black served on the UCLA faculty for 10 years where he was a professor of neurosurgery and was named the Ruth and Raymond Stotter chair in the Department of Surgery and was head of the UCLA Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program.

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Brain Surgeon: A Doctor's Inspiring Encounters with Mortality and Miracles 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
scotty18 More than 1 year ago
Brain Surgeon by Keith Black is a very strong and moving book. In this you will learn about both the positive and negatives on the highly skillful career of neurosurgery. Black will share the struggles he faced when trying to become a neurosurgeon due to the fact he was black. As Black was growing up he was always fascinated by science and how the body works. He eventually found himself at the age 17 he won an award in a national science competition for research on the damage done to red blood cells in patients with heart-valve replacements. This achievement earned him in a special program at the University of Michigan where he would earn both his undergraduate and M.D. degree in only 6 years. I personally thought this book was exceptional, the detail and emotions he portrayed when writing this book. I myself plan on becoming a neurosurgeon, this book just helps me understand the delicacy and patience it requires to do this profession. This book is not a hard one to understand, it contains quite a few hard medical terms, but they are all explained right after he mentions what the disease or procedure is. If you like this book I would highly recommend Gifted Hands written by Ben Carson who also faced some of the same struggles as Black. The description of this book is exceptional, especially "tiger country" this draws in all attention the reader has because come into that territory you have serious problems. Overall I would rank this book as the best i have ever red, but then again I want to pursue medicine as a profession. This can be red by almost any high scholar and is one I would strongly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book gave me hope that a diagnosis of glioblastoma is not an automatic death sentence and much progress has been made in treating this type of cancer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Lexie69 More than 1 year ago
Brain Surgeon, by Keith Black is a very intriguing and inspirational novel. Throughout the book Keith takes you into the life of a brain surgeon showing just how many risks he takes in a single day. He shows the physical, emotional, and mental effects of such a grueling career. Through his experiences he discovers the struggles and rewards that come with his career. Even though he is the guy of bad news sometimes he never gives up on any patient and always wants the best for every one of his patients. In his stories he shows that even when there is a slim to none chance of survival he does what’s best for the patient even if it’s creating a miracle. He is truly a remarkable doctor!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard book to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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cathifornia More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that are difficult to put down! Well written, very inspirational and moving. Being a brain tumor survivor myself at a very young age, it made me realize what my family must have gone through during my operation and recovery. This book was also a "reminder" of how lucky I was to survive, and how thankful I am for all of the doctors, nurses and medical staff that saved my life! Thank you, Dr. Black for writing such an incredible book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dr. Black is amazing and everyone that has ever had to deal with a brain tumor or family member with one- needs to read this book. Dr. Black is a legend and his insight is professional and dynamic! He truly is a remarkable doctor!
OOSABookClub More than 1 year ago
In this inspiring book, Dr. Keith Black wastes no time distilling the complex, frustrating but often fulfilling role as a doctor. "My patients fight their disease with the greatest dignity and spirit one can ever imagine. Their courage inspires me to focus every drop of energy I have in myself to provide them with the best odds possible to beat this disease, or at least give them as much quality life as our surgeries and medicines will allow. They are my heroes, and I hope one day all of their bravery and determination will help lead to a cure," he states. In "Brain Surgery: A Doctor's Inspiring Encounters with Mortality and Miracles," Black discusses expectations, hopes, fears and much more. He details encounters with patients of all walks of life, ranging from a wealthy Hong Kong entrepreneur to a pastor of a church to a grandmother to a member of a successful R&B/hip-hop group. Detailed are the highs and lows you would expect from someone fighting for their life, and not always having the easiest time doing so. Along the way, Black relates his experiences as a young African American growing up in the South and reaching the heights as a world renowned neurosurgeon. His experiences, both losses and successes, he finds worthwhile and so will readers. Black also gives us much to consider such as potential environmental dangers and risks associated with things we do in our everyday lives like cell phone usage. Reviewed by: Tracy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am in a book club. Three of us are retired nurses. Three have no medical training at all. All six of us thoroughly enjoyed the book and learned so much about brain tumors as well as who to try to get in to see for sure if we or anyone in our family ever develops one!! Additionally the personal history was not unexpected but so well told.
Slessman More than 1 year ago
BRAIN SURGEON A Doctor's Inspiring Encounters with Mortality and Miracles Keith Black, MD with Arnold Mann Wellness Central Hachette Book Group ISBN: 978-0-446-58109-7 $24.99 Reviewer: Annie Slessman Not being in the medical field, I expected BRAIN SURGEON, A Doctor's Inspiring Encounters with Mortality and Miracles by Keith Black, MD with Arnold Mann to be a hard, dry read. I could not have been more wrong! Dr. Black and Arnold Mann have managed to take a subject matter - brain surgery - from the mysterious to something easily understood by everyone. Dr. Black uses a series of stories about his patients and their courage and surprising stamina to relate his experiences and inform the reader about the mysteries of the brain. Each story explains the many types of brain cancer and the degree of difficulty that each occurrence requires in its treatment. For instance, my own daughter was recently diagnosed with a tumor in her liver. We were told the tumor was not cancerous. She had only taken a MRI - how can they tell the tumor is not cancerous by an image test? Well, I got my answer when Dr. Black explained that a tumor which is cancerous absorbs more of the dye making it more prominent in the MRI. Thank you, Dr. Black, I found your book and its ability to explain things in simple terms very comforting. Dr. Black, early in his career leans toward cardiology. When he took his first neuro-anatomy class, he was hooked. As he states, "the bottom line is that the heart is just a muscle, a pump, to be sure, it's a very elegant muscle and a great pump, but it's still a pump. The brain, on the other hand, is the ultimate reduction of self." When explaining a specific treatment he likens his vaccine to that of a warrior fighting a terrorist (cancer). This vaccine seeks out the bad cancer cells and "presents" them to the body's killer T-cells. Killer T-cells are a special variety of white blood cells, or lymphocytes. When the vaccine presents these bad cells to the Killer T-cells they know to attack. Don't you absolutely love this analogy? Most everyone can understand this process with the use of this analogy. Quite often, I donate my review books to the local library. It is my way of giving the gift of knowledge. However, I just cannot bring myself to donate this book. It will remain in my own library.