Working in a Very Small Place: The Making of a Neurosurgeon

Mark L. Shelton, Author W. W. Norton & Company $19.95 (315p) ISBN 978-0-393-02681-8
A member of the brilliant, excitable, intransigent breed of surgeons who probe into the brain's ``very small place,'' Peter Jannetta, while still a brash 34-year-old medical resident, invented a controversial but now internationally acclaimed operation to relieve excruciating trigeminal neuralgia, a cranial nerve disorder. Jannetta today heads a team of neurosurgeons at Pittsburgh's Presbyterian University Hospital, where Shelton served as head of public affairs. Based on firsthand observation and interviews with colleagues, staff and 60 recovered patients, the author relates in lay terms the stages in Jannetta's procedure and narrates dramatic episodes of the doctor in action. Against the complex background of hospital politics, this affecting, rousing account portrays the maverick, engaging surgeon's battle to acquaint the medical profession with his discoveries and achieve acceptance for his innovation. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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