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

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Overview

Keith Black, MD is among the best and brightest neurosurgeons and scientists in the world, responsible for revolutionary research and groundbreaking procedures of which most of the medical establishment never dared to dream. In BRAIN SURGEON, Black invites the reader to shadow his daily journeys into the brain, or, what he calls "tiger country": the treacherous territory one enters when performing brain surgery, wherein one wrong move, one small mistake, can cost the patient's life. Candidly rendered, BRAIN ...

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New York, NY 2009 Hard cover First edition. STATED 1ST EDITION New in new dust jacket. BRIGHT CLEAN, BRAND NEW Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 226 p. ... Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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

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Overview

Keith Black, MD is among the best and brightest neurosurgeons and scientists in the world, responsible for revolutionary research and groundbreaking procedures of which most of the medical establishment never dared to dream. In BRAIN SURGEON, Black invites the reader to shadow his daily journeys into the brain, or, what he calls "tiger country": the treacherous territory one enters when performing brain surgery, wherein one wrong move, one small mistake, can cost the patient's life. Candidly rendered, BRAIN SURGEON combines amazing patient stories and fascinating insights into the inner workings of the brain. It also offers a window into the remarkable mind of the medical hero himself, who possesses the unflinching confidence of a master surgeon alongside overwhelming respect and affection for his patients and an unwavering optimism for the future.

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Editorial Reviews

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)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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

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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446581097
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/25/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 7, 2010

    awesome!!!!!

    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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2014

    Excellent

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    Captivating

    Great book

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  • Posted February 27, 2012

    Very Inspirational!!!

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Excellent!

    Hard book to put down.

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  • Posted January 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic!

    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!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2009

    What a Doctor!

    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!

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  • Posted June 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Tiger Country

    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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Easily understood by non medically trained readers

    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.

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  • Posted March 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    DR. BLACK SIMPLIFIES THE COMPLICATED

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted June 23, 2012

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