Another Day in the Frontal Lobe

Another Day in the Frontal Lobe

A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Katrina Firlik is a neurosurgeon, one of only two hundred or so women among the alpha males who dominate this high-pressure, high-prestige medical specialty. She is also a superbly gifted writer--witty, insightful, at once deeply humane and refreshingly wry. In Another Day in the Frontal Lobe, Dr. Firlik draws on this rare combination to create a neurosurgeon's Kitchen Confidential--a unique insider's memoir of a fascinating profession.

Neurosurgeons are renowned for their big egos and aggressive self-confidence, and Dr. Firlik confirms that timidity is indeed rare in the field. "They're the kids who never lost at musical chairs," she writes. A brain surgeon is not only a highly trained scientist and clinician but also a mechanic who of necessity develops an intimate, hands-on familiarity with the gray matter inside our skulls. It's the balance between cutting-edge medical technology and manual dexterity, between instinct and expertise, that Firlik finds so appealing--and so difficult to master.

Firlik recounts how her background as a surgeon's daughter with a strong stomach and a keen interest in the brain led her to this rarefied specialty, and she describes her challenging, atypical trek from medical student to fully qualified surgeon. Among Firlik's more memorable cases: a young roofer who walked into the hospital with a three-inch-long barbed nail driven into his forehead, the result of an accident with his partner's nail gun, and a sweet little seven-year-old boy whose untreated earache had become a raging, potentially fatal infection of the brain lining.

From OR theatrics to thorny ethical questions, from the surprisingly primitive tools in a neurosurgeon's kit to glimpses of future techniques like the "brain lift," Firlik cracks open medicine's most prestigious and secretive specialty. Candid, smart, clear-eyed, and unfailingly engaging, Another Day in the Frontal Lobe is a mesmerizing behind-the-scenes glimpse into a world of incredible competition and incalculable rewards.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400063208
Branch Call Number: ANF 617.48092 FIR
Characteristics: 271 p. ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Apr 21, 2018

Great read.

Oct 31, 2017

The below critique of this book is absolutely right-on.
Also, in my opinion, the author's envy of large incomes motivates her career change at the end of the book. Still - a very informative memoir.

Apr 04, 2014

Dr Firlik is a likeable, honest and very easy to read writer. To be a neurosurgeon, one has to have above-average confidence and Dr Firlik illustrates a case or two of "over-confidence" -- which is the curse of anyone who is so. I learned new information after reading this book and felt for the most part that I understood her unique perspective. At the end of the book though I felt she became more and more detached and I began to wonder where she was. A lot of books are like this -- great beginnings and ambiguous or lukewarm endings. Those who are interested in pursuing a career in this field will gather useful information on the one-way arduous path to be a neuro-surgeon.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

Apr 04, 2014

BloomFree thinks this title is suitable for 19 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings

No similar edition of this title was found at VIRL.

Try searching for Another Day in the Frontal Lobe to see if VIRL owns related versions of the work.

To Top