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.
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.
Dramatic, moving, and utterly fascinating.
— New York Times Book Review
By turns comic and tragic, this memoir…is a must-read for neurosurgeons but also of interest to most clinicians.
— Chris Barrett - The BMJ
Dr. Frank Vertosick provides an amusing, insightful and honest inside view of the training of the neurosurgeon. This highly readable account of daily life on the wards shows all the humility, fortitude, and humanity that genuinely underlies this sometimes not well-understood but genuinely wonderful profession.
— Dr. David W. Roberts, professor of surgery (neurosurgery), Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
When the Air Hits Your Brain lets you feel the pain, grief and joy of practicing medicine. This book should be read by every medical student, doctor and present or potential patient. In other words, by all of us.
— Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of Love, Medicine and Miracles
Writing with humor and compassion, but without sentimentality, Vertosick shows us that neurosurgeons, those gods of the operating room, are humans, too.
— Kirkus Reviews