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.
PRAISE FOR BRAIN SURGEON
"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
"A rare, behind-the-curtain look at the life of one of the most pre-eminent neurosurgeons in the world." --Sanjay Gupta, MD, Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN
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.