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Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs

The Making of a Surgeon
Narrated by: John Pruden
Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
5 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It looked for a while like Michael Collins would spend his life breaking concrete and throwing rocks for the Vittorio Scalese Construction Company. He liked the work and he liked the pay. But a chance remark by one of his coworkers made him realize that he wanted to involve himself in something bigger, something more meaningful than crushing rocks and drinking beer.  

In his acclaimed first memoir, Hot Lights, Cold Steel, Collins wrote passionately about his four-year surgical residency at the prestigious Mayo Clinic. Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs turns back the clock, taking listeners from his days as a construction worker to his entry into medical school, expertly infusing his journey to become a doctor with humanity, compassion, and humor. From the first time he delivers a baby to being surrounded by death and pain on a daily basis, Collins compellingly writes about how medicine makes him confront, in a very deep and personal way, the nature of God and suffering - and how delicate life can be.

©2009 Michael J. Collins, M.D. (P)2018 Tantor

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good listen. really enjoyed

Dr. Collins and his family are a joy to read. the comedy and realness were appreciated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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excellent <br />

a very captivating accounting that made you feel like you were there the whole way.

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From Construction worker to Orthopedic Surgeon!

From an Irish-Catholic construction worker downing beer, cursing and throwing rocks to becoming an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Michael J. Collins (the oldest of 8 Irish-boys) delineates how his Mother “made a deal with God” to gain him admission Loyola Medical School. Use of “rat” and putting stuff in it some could describe as unholy?

“They are gods...I want to...blithely throw off phrases like BUN/creatinine ratio...aortic insufficiency...do important things like delivering quadruplets/repairing ruptured aneurysms. I want to be anything but a rock thrower on Battaglia's breakout crew.”

---Michael J. Collins, MD


From dying babies and old ladies had me reciting Ovid's’ “Curando fieri quaedam majora videmus vulnera” which illuminated something sacred to stop the tears. “Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs: The Making of a Surgeon” is a comic filled rant with no promise of clean words, yet its masterful in delivering the truth with Cerebro spinal fluid clarity.

This is literary “schatz” by Dr. Collins divergent to his “Hot Lights, Cold Steel” (2005). In the midst of chaos and death of babies he exposes the clandestine acumen imparted from suffering---even after his intern commits suicide. All this and courtship of the lady who would become his wife. Raw, candid and brilliant read.

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  • Robert
  • 06-07-19

Excellent book

Great story of a doctor told in humorous way but also often touching on more serious subjects. I’m a senior radiologist and assure you that the story reflects my experiences with medical school and residency. This book is addressed to general audience so the medical language is easy to follow. Great book. Highly recommend.