Confessions of a brain surgeon

The Times, 8 March 2014

‘I am not sure whether I realised it then, but this was the time when I became a little sadder but much wiser. I gradually regained my courage and used what I had learnt from the tragic consequences of my hubris to achieve much better results.’

In an extended extract from Do No Harm, Henry blends together material from several chapters and reflects on his first disastrous operation, the frustrations of NHS management, but also the wonder he still feels when looking down the enormous operating microscope: ‘the view into the patient’s brain is indeed magical – clearer, sharper and more brilliant than the world outside, the world of committees and management and paperwork and protocols.’

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About hollyharley

Editorial assistant for Weidenfeld & Nicolson non-fiction. Also a lover of Classics, cats, lifting and fossil-collecting.