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Minxminnie

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery

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This won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it's fascinating if the subject matter doesn't put you off.

Henry Marsh is a neurosurgeon, and this is basically a memoir of his working life, including successes and failures. It is very accessible - all the technical stuff is very clearly explained for a general reader. I was really holding my breath at some of the tricky bits. His speciality - although not how he always works - is operating under local anaesthetic, so that the patient can give him live feedback.

 

The one thing that annoyed me was that he came across as quite arrogant. At least he was candid enough to admit it, but his rudeness to management and some colleagues left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. It just seemed to be part of the culture of being a senior surgeon. Still, though, he wasn't arrogant about his abilities, and it left me glad that there are people who know that stuff.

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This won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it's fascinating if the subject matter doesn't put you off.

Henry Marsh is a neurosurgeon, and this is basically a memoir of his working life, including successes and failures. It is very accessible - all the technical stuff is very clearly explained for a general reader. I was really holding my breath at some of the tricky bits. His speciality - although not how he always works - is operating under local anaesthetic, so that the patient can give him live feedback.

The one thing that annoyed me was that he came across as quite arrogant. At least he was candid enough to admit it, but his rudeness to management and some colleagues left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. It just seemed to be part of the culture of being a senior surgeon. Still, though, he wasn't arrogant about his abilities, and it left me glad that there are people who know that stuff.

There is such a fine line between extreme self confidence and arrogance, and it often gets crossed by those who do very technical and very demanding work. It's a shame really, since the areas where it gets crossed are often outside their expertise, and yet they feel they have to rule over every area they are involved in. And yet they could probably do so more effectively if they were more congenial, since they already do have high levels of respect from their colleagues. Must be some mix of insecurity and inclination towards challenge and conflict.

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