Book Review: Another Day in the Frontal Lobe

Did I ever tell you that a single book gave me the push I needed to accept my spot at Med School? The book in question was called 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa, but this is not about that book.

In previous years, books were like my daily bread and water. With the workload and activities of university I seem to have been starving for almost three years. I read the odd book, but struggle to find a book that will touch me without instantly sending me into a downward spiral of depression.

During a rare gem of a three week holiday, Ouma and I went on a little excursion to the library. Here’s what I found:

Another Day in the Frontal Lobe by Katrina S. Firlik, non-fiction

Firlik is a Neurosurgeon in the USA. She writes with wit and insight about the road that brought her there: from the decision to be Pre-Med, to Med School, through seven years of residency.

She avoids the various pitfalls of medical biographies:

She does not jump up and down cheering her team on as the one and only.

She does not impress upon the reader that her job is the worst or most difficult.

She does not focus overtly on research or her work in the field.

The writing is unapologetic and honest. As a medical student (albeit in a different country) the autobiography cleared up many doubts in my mind helped me to alter my way of thinking about medicine a little. It was enlightening.

It is also perfectly suitable to the layperson though. I found myself reading entire excerpts to my parents and they thoroughly enjoyed it. When Firlik touches upon medical subject matter, she is sure to make it clear enough for those without a medical background.

I would also strongly suggest Another Day in the Frontal Lobe to anyone who enjoys reading about women making it in the professional world.

A mention must be made that the author impresses her view regarding religion once or twice. She is by no means degrading, but religious readers should be able to read past it and still hold on to the story.

If you have an expanding blood clot in your head, you want a skilled brain mechanic, and preferably a swift one. You don’t care if your surgeon published a paper in Science or Nature.

Firlik, Another Day in the Frontal Lobe

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