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Do No Harm
Cover of Do No Harm
Do No Harm
Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery
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Longlisted for both the Guardian First Book Award and the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, Do No Harm ranks alongside the work of Atul Gawande, Jerome Groopman, and Oliver Sacks. With compassion and candor, leading neurosurgeon Henry Marsh reveals the fierce joy of operating, the profoundly moving triumphs, the harrowing disasters, the haunting regrets, and the moments of black humor that characterize a brain surgeon's life. If you believe that brain surgery is a precise and exquisite craft, practiced by calm and detached surgeons, this gripping, brutally honest account will make you think again. Henry Marsh studied medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London, became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1984 and was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson Morley's/St George's Hospital in London in 1987. He has been the subject of two major documentary films, Your Life in Their Hands, which won the Royal Television Society Gold Medal, and The English Surgeon, which won an Emmy. He was made a CBE in 2010. He is married to the anthropologist and writer Kate Fox.
Longlisted for both the Guardian First Book Award and the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, Do No Harm ranks alongside the work of Atul Gawande, Jerome Groopman, and Oliver Sacks. With compassion and candor, leading neurosurgeon Henry Marsh reveals the fierce joy of operating, the profoundly moving triumphs, the harrowing disasters, the haunting regrets, and the moments of black humor that characterize a brain surgeon's life. If you believe that brain surgery is a precise and exquisite craft, practiced by calm and detached surgeons, this gripping, brutally honest account will make you think again. Henry Marsh studied medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London, became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1984 and was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson Morley's/St George's Hospital in London in 1987. He has been the subject of two major documentary films, Your Life in Their Hands, which won the Royal Television Society Gold Medal, and The English Surgeon, which won an Emmy. He was made a CBE in 2010. He is married to the anthropologist and writer Kate Fox.
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About the Author-
  • Henry Marsh studied medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London, became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1984 and was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson Morley's/St George's Hospital in London in 1987. He has been the subject of two major documentary films, Your Life in Their Hands, which won the Royal Television Society Gold Medal, and The English Surgeon, which won an Emmy. He was made a CBE in 2010. He is married to the anthropologist and writer Kate Fox.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Prominent neurosurgeon Henry Marsh recounts stories of patients whose cases, with both positive and negative outcomes, have had a lasting impact on him professionally and personally. Jim Barclay's authoritative British-accented narration is befitting for the purveyor of delicate and exacting medical procedures. Barclay's tone does tend toward a sort of exasperation or haughtiness. Whether this is due to his narration style or is an exaggerated portrayal of the author's frustrations on the page is not evident. Nonetheless, the book is an informative look at the joys and trials of a practicing brain surgeon. S.E.G. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine Prominent neurosurgeon Henry Marsh recounts stories of patients whose cases, with both positive and negative outcomes, have had a lasting impact on him professionally and personally. Jim Barclay's authoritative British-accented narration is befitting for the purveyor of delicate and exacting medical procedures. Barclay's tone does tend toward a sort of exasperation or haughtiness. Whether this is due to his narration style or is an exaggerated portrayal of the author's frustrations on the page is not evident. Nonetheless, the book is an informative look at the joys and trials of a practicing brain surgeon. S.E.G. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 9, 2015
    In this memoir of a long career, English neurosurgeon Marsh reveals both a “weary and knowing skepticism” and a striking determination to help the desperately ill despite the uncertainties. “The operating is the easy part, you know,” he writes of one neurosurgeon’s advice to him; “the difficulties are all to do with the decision-making.” Marsh’s remarkable, unblinking honesty shines through in each of the starkly different cases he describes, including a little boy with a progressive cancer whose family came to believe he could “go on being treated forever”; the death “without regret” of his own mother from metastasized breast cancer; and the devastating outcome of a difficult operation on an 11-year-old Ukrainian girl with a large but benign brain tumor that was slowly killing her. Surprisingly humble and introspective, Marsh can be hard on himself: “It’s not the successes I remember, or so I like to think, but the failures.” The stubborn bureaucracy of Britain’s healthcare system merits its own harsh meditation, though Marsh tempers his deep distrust of the system with compassion. This thoughtful doctor provides a highly personal and fascinating look inside the elite world of neurosurgery, appraising both its amazing successes as well as its sobering failures. Agent: Julian Alexander, Lucas Alexander Whitley Ltd. (U.K.).

  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2015

    Noted English neurosurgeon Marsh here revisits his professional triumphs and failures, sharing the pain and joy he experienced with each. Listeners are reminded that doctors are people too and that they experience a wide range of emotions and feelings. Addressing issues of life and death and other struggles a neurosurgeon faces, including the changes in medical practice the author has witnessed in his decades of practice, the work is read ably by Jim Barclay, who makes listeners feel as though they are directly hearing the author recount recollections of his past. VERDICT This audiobook is highly recommended for those interested in modern medicine and in understanding the life of health-care providers and many of the issues they confront.--Eric D. Albright, Tufts Hirsh Health Science Lib., Boston

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery
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