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Hot Lights, Cold Steel : Life, Death and Sleepless Nights in a Surgeon's First Years - Dr Michael J Collins

Hot Lights, Cold Steel

Life, Death and Sleepless Nights in a Surgeon's First Years

Paperback Published: 24th January 2006
ISBN: 9780312352691
Number Of Pages: 305

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When Michael Collins decides to become a surgeon, he is totally unprepared for the chaotic life of a resident at a major hospital. A natural overachiever, Collins' success, in college and medical school led to a surgical residency at one of the most respected medical centers in the world, the famed Mayo Clinic. But compared to his fellow residents Collins feels inadequate and unprepared. All too soon, the euphoria of beginning his career as an orthopedic resident gives way to the feeling he is a counterfeit, an imposter who has infiltrated a society of brilliant surgeons.
This story of Collins' four-year surgical residency traces his rise from an eager but clueless first-year resident to accomplished Chief Resident in his final year. With unparalleled humor, he recounts the disparity between people's perceptions of a doctor's glamorous life and the real thing: a succession of run down cars that are towed to the junk yard, long weekends moonlighting at rural hospitals, a family that grows larger every year, and a laughable income.
Collins' good nature helps him over some of the rough spots but cannot spare him the harsh reality of a doctor's life. Every day he is confronted with decisions that will change people's lives-or end them-forever. A young boy's leg is mangled by a tractor: risk the boy's life to save his leg, or amputate immediately? A woman diagnosed with bone cancer injures her hip: go through a painful hip operation even though she has only months to live? Like a jolt to the system, he is faced with the reality of suffering and death as he struggles to reconcile his idealism and aspiration to heal with the recognition of his own limitations and imperfections.
Unflinching and deeply engaging, "Hot Lights, Cold Steel" is a humane and passionate reminder that doctors are people too. This is a gripping memoir, at times devastating, others triumphant, but always compulsively readable.
Michael Collins served as Chief Resident in Orthopedic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic. Currently he is an active partner in a busy surgical practice in Chicago where he lives with his wife Patti and their twelve children. This is his first book. When Michael Collins decides to become a surgeon, he is totally unprepared for the chaotic life of a resident at a major hospital. Collins's success in college and medical school led to a surgical residency at one of the most respected medical centers in the world, the Mayo Clinic. But compared to his fellow residents, Collins feels inadequate and unprepared. All too soon, the euphoria of beginning his career as an orthopedic resident gives way to the feeling he is a counterfeit, an imposter who has infiltrated a society of brilliant surgeons.
This story of Collins' four-year surgical residency traces his rise from an eager first-year resident to accomplished Chief Resident in his final year. He recounts the disparity between people's perceptions of a doctor's glamorous life and the real thing: a succession of run down cars that are towed to the junk yard, long weekends moonlighting at rural hospitals, a family that grows larger every year, and a laughable income.
Collins' good nature helps him over some of the rough spots but cannot spare him the harsh reality of a doctor's life. Every day he is confronted with decisions that will change people's lives--or end them--forever. A young boy's leg is mangled by a tractor: risk the boy's life to save his leg, or amputate immediately? A woman diagnosed with bone cancer injures her hip: go through a painful hip operation even though she has only months to live? Like a jolt to the system, he is faced with the reality of suffering and death as he struggles to reconcile his idealism and aspiration to heal with the recognition of his own limitations and imperfections. "Like the very best episode of "ER," Collins' memoir races from one trauma to the next, keeping this reader spellbound all the way. Collins' life as a surgical resident is heartbreaking one minute and triumphant the next. You'll laugh and cry and cheer along with him as his epic journey to become a doctor races toward its gripping conclusion. I love this book and won't soon forget it."--Augusten Burroughs, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Dry" and "Magical Thinking" "One of the best, funniest medical memoirs I have ever read. "Hot Lights, Cold Steel" is at once darkly humorous and truly compassionate. Not since "House of God" has there been such a ferociously funny look at the world of hospital medicine."--Michael Palmer, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Fatal" and "The Society" "I adore this book. It's so polished and hilarious. It brought back all the stomach-churning anxieties of my own residency so vividly that I felt exhausted reading it. Dr. Collins has my highest admiration. I give this book a 10+ "--Tess Gerritsen, "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Surgeon" and "The Apprentice""" " "Hot Lights, Cold "Steel is told] with a born storyteller's skill . . . Highly animated--and rich in encounters both sad and hilarious."--"Kirkus Reviews""" "If he didn't feel overwhelmed before the Mayo Clinic senior orthopedic surgery resident lobbed a beeper at him with the nonchalant order, 'Cover for me, ' 29-year-old ex-cabdriver, ex-construction worker, and, at the time, brand-new resident Collins certainly did then. It was his first day on the job, and instantly he began fielding calls from staff nurses requesting orders for patients he hadn't laid eyes on. If it hadn't been for his innate sense of humor--brilliantly demonstrated in this memoir of his Mayo residency--and a sense of perspective derived from that experience, he might have failed. He didn't, and here he honors those who helped him along the way and those whom he helped. As a man who recognizes that he, too, makes his living with his hands, Collins anguishes over the options available to a carpenter who had severed four fingers. After assisting at a young c

Industry Reviews

Like the very best episode of ER, Collins' memoir races from one trauma to the next, keeping this reader spellbound all the way. Collins' life as a surgical resident is heartbreaking one minute and triumphant the next. You'll laugh and cry and cheer along with him as his epic journey to become a doctor races toward its gripping conclusion. I love this book and won't soon forget it.--Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Dry and Magical Thinking One of the best, funniest medical memoirs I have ever read. "Hot Lights, Cold Steel" is at once darkly humorous and truly compassionate. Not since "House of God" has there been such a ferociously funny look at the world of hospital medicine.--Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of Fatal and The Society I adore this book. It's so polished and hilarious. It brought back all the stomach-churning anxieties of my own residency so vividly that I felt exhausted reading it. Dr. Collins has my highest admiration. I give this book a 10+!--Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Surgeon and The Apprentice "Like the very best episode of ER, Collins' memoir races from one trauma to the next, keeping this reader spellbound all the way. Collins' life as a surgical resident is heartbreaking one minute and triumphant the next. You'll laugh and cry and cheer along with him as his epic journey to become a doctor races toward its gripping conclusion. I love this book and won't soon forget it." --Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Dry and Magical Thinking

"One of the best, funniest medical memoirs I have ever read. Hot Lights, Cold Steel is at once darkly humorous and truly compassionate. Not since House of God has there been such a ferociously funny look at the world of hospital medicine." --Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of Fatal and The Society

"I adore this book. It's so polished and hilarious. It brought back all the stomach-churning anxieties of my own residency so vividly that I felt exhausted reading it. Dr. Collins has my highest admiration. I give this book a 10+!" --Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Surgeon and The Apprentice Like the very best episode of ER, Collins' memoir races from one trauma to the next, keeping this reader spellbound all the way. Collins' life as a surgical resident is heartbreaking one minute and triumphant the next. You'll laugh and cry and cheer along with him as his epic journey to become a doctor races toward its gripping conclusion. I love this book and won't soon forget it. Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Dry and Magical Thinking

One of the best, funniest medical memoirs I have ever read. Hot Lights, Cold Steel is at once darkly humorous and truly compassionate. Not since House of God has there been such a ferociously funny look at the world of hospital medicine. Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of Fatal and The Society

I adore this book. It's so polished and hilarious. It brought back all the stomach-churning anxieties of my own residency so vividly that I felt exhausted reading it. Dr. Collins has my highest admiration. I give this book a 10+! Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Surgeon and The Apprentice

" Like the very best episode of ER, Collins' memoir races from one trauma to the next, keeping this reader spellbound all the way. Collins' life as a surgical resident is heartbreaking one minute and triumphant the next. You'll laugh and cry and cheer along with him as his epic journey to become a doctor races toward its gripping conclusion. I love this book and won't soon forget it. Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Dry and Magical Thinking

One of the best, funniest medical memoirs I have ever read. "Hot Lights, Cold Steel" is at once darkly humorous and truly compassionate. Not since "House of God" has there been such a ferociously funny look at the world of hospital medicine. Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of Fatal and The Society

I adore this book. It's so polished and hilarious. It brought back all the stomach-churning anxieties of my own residency so vividly that I felt exhausted reading it. Dr. Collins has my highest admiration. I give this book a 10+! Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Surgeon and The Apprentice" "Like the very best episode of ER, Collins' memoir races from one trauma to the next, keeping this reader spellbound all the way. Collins' life as a surgical resident is heartbreaking one minute and triumphant the next. You'll laugh and cry and cheer along with him as his epic journey to become a doctor races toward its gripping conclusion. I love this book and won't soon forget it." - Augusten Burroughs, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Dry" and "Magical Thinking" "One of the best, funniest medical memoirs I have ever read. "Hot Lights, Cold Steel" is at once darkly humorous and truly compassionate. Not since "House of God" has there been such a ferociously funny look at the world of hospital medicine." - Michael Palmer, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Fatal" and "The Society" "I adore this book. It's so polished and hilarious. It brought back all the stomach-churning anxieties of my own residency so vividly that I felt exhausted reading it. Dr. Collins has my highest admiration. I give this book a 10+!" - Tess Gerritsen, "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Surgeon" and "The Apprentice"

ISBN: 9780312352691
ISBN-10: 0312352697
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 305
Published: 24th January 2006
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 13.97 x 20.96  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.31

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