Admissions: Life As A Brain Surgeon

by Henry Marsh

Hardcover, 2017




New York : Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press, 2017.


Traces the author's post-retirement work as a surgeon and teacher in such remote areas as Nepal and Ukraine, illuminating the challenges of working in difficult regions and finding purposeful work after a career.

User reviews

LibraryThing member hemlokgang
This is a tough book to read for a couple of reasons. Dr. Marsh seems brutally honest about the work he has done, the mistakes that get made in neurosurgery, the joys and anxieties of being a neurosurgeon, and what it feels like to retire. He practiced in London, Kiev, and Kathmandu. Fascinating, yet stark!
LibraryThing member BrokenTeepee
I did not read Dr. Marsh’s first book. Perhaps if I had I would have been better prepared for this book. I will admit it was not what I was expecting. Having personally had two brain surgeries I find the topic of said somewhat interesting. Back when I was learning of my diagnosis and going through my procedures and recovery the internet was nascent so I didn’t have the access people have today. There was no google. I suppose I was expecting more tales of the neurosurgeon and less tales of the man.

This is not to say that there wasn’t much to read in this volume of essays. I found them at times enthralling at other times downright depressing. I enjoyed Dr. Marsh most when he was focused on trying to make things better for his patients but his ruminations on the state of the British healthcare system were very disturbing. The only thing worse was when he went outside of Britain into countries with lower standards of care. His stories really make one wonder as to the state of neurosurgery in developing areas.

So, did I like this book? At times yes, at others not so much. When Dr. Marsh was telling stories outside of himself I found the book to be very interesting. The tales of the surgeries were what I was most interested in so I found them to be utterly fascinating and I wished there were more. When Dr. Marsh started in on his insecurities and failings he lost my interest. I respect that this was his book to write but I felt I was failed by the synopsis. Again, had I read the first book I might have know what to expect. This is not to say that Dr. Marsh is a poor writer because he is not. The book is very well written. I feel this was more a failing on my part in looking for more than the book was ever going to give.
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LibraryThing member JanaRose1
Marsh has spent his career as a neurosurgeon in England. After retirement, he worked pro bono in Ukraine and Nepal. This was a fascinating and well written book. Marsh has a unique voice, one that made it hard to put his book down. I loved his insights into life and his point of view. Overall, highly recommended.
LibraryThing member strandbooks
Admissions is by Henry Marsh, a British neurosurgeon, who is retiring from the NHS, but continues to teach and perform surgery in places like Nepal and the Ukraine. I think neurosurgeons need to be equal parts huge ego and a lot of humility at the mystery of the brain. He has some good insights on when he thinks medicine is practiced well and when it is not (he doesn't have a lot of great things to say about privatized health care).… (more)
LibraryThing member dele2451
A highly respected neurosurgeon approaching retirement shares important and candid insights into modern healthcare and discusses the shortcomings of end of life/hospice care in today's hospitals.



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