Tag Archives: book review

Losing Control

Losing Control - Heart, Guts & Steel

(This is an excerpt from my new book, “Heart, Guts & Steel: The Making of an Indian Surgeon“)

A few minutes later, I was in the operating room, making an incision into his belly. It was full of clots. Clearly, the innocent looking stab had gone deep, slicing into vital organs.

When I cleared away the clots, we saw the problem. The knife had pierced his gall bladder, a tiny bag-like organ beneath the liver that stored bile. The wound had gone through it, barely missing the liver to stop milli-meters short of the largest vein in the body. Just a little deeper, and the patient wouldn’t have made it to the hospital alive!

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Book Review : How To Create A Mind

How To Create A Mind - Ray Kurzweil

I’m reading Ray Kurzweil’s “How To Create a Mind“.

Back in medical college, I spent an incredible amount of time reading Snell’s ‘Neuroanatomy’ to understand the structure and function of the human brain.

It’s a myriad of nerve connections, with different bits being hooked up to others, some nearby, others almost halfway across the brain. What’s more, there are redundancies galore. And keeping track of what links to what, through diagrams that showed sweeps of colored arrows pointing both ways, was mind boggling.

I read all of this, not because it’s so fascinating, but because we had an exam to pass at the end of a semester. About the lateral geniculate nucleus, or the caudate nucleus, or the red nucleus. And the insula, colliculi or corpus callosum. Without quite understanding how relevant, useful or practical it would all be.

It wasn’t. At all.

For the next twenty five years, I have never once had to use ANY of that information in my medical practice!

So, was it all a waste?

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Book Review: The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden

My sense of humor, to put it charitably, is perverse.

For instance, I’ve watched the Ashton Kutcher film “Dude, Where’s My Car” four times – and laugh like a madman at ever so many situations I think are hilarious… where my spouse of more “normal” humor will, at best, smile – or, more often, wince!

So when I read a book where, midway through the story, I find myself at this condemned building in Sweden where lived…

  • an American potter (who’s convinced the CIA are out to find and destroy him)
  • two Swedish brothers (one of whom doesn’t officially exist!)
  • an angry young woman (who protests her father’s refusal of a bank loan to fund General Noriega’s revolution)
  • an escaped South African refugee (who is being sought by two angry Mossad agents), and
  • three Chinese girls with poor judgement

…alongside a 3 mega-ton nuclear bombwell, my funny bone just tingles madly!

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Study, Research, Publish

Heart, Guts & Steel - The Making of an Indian Surgeon

(This is an unpublished chapter from the manuscript of my new book, “Heart, Guts & Steel: The Making of an Indian Surgeon“)

One summer, I took a few days off to surprise my parents on their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

To keep me engaged on the 24 hour journey, I picked up a popular bestseller from the library. For good measure, I also carried along a medical journal. I hopped into an upper berth shortly after the train left Dadar station, opened the book, and fell asleep within minutes!

I slept through the night – and all next day… waking up briefly only to gobble down the sandwiches our cafeteria manager had thoughtfully packed for me!

As our train crawled into Basin Bridge station, a few minutes from the terminus at Madras Central, I finally got down from my berth.

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Moment of Truth

Moment of Truth - Heart, Guts & Steel

(This is an excerpt from my new book, “Heart, Guts & Steel: The Making of an Indian Surgeon“)

The bleeding slowed down.

“It’s better now, Ramesh. But I can’t hold on for long. Let me know when he’s stable and I’ll clamp the artery.”

“Hold on a minute,” said the anaesthesiologist. “I’ll rush in some more blood.” A moment later, he reported. “Pulse is stronger. Pressure’s coming up slowly.”

And then, “Whenever you’re ready.”

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