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Hot Lights, Cold Steel

Life, Death and Sleepless Nights in a Surgeon's First Years
Narrated by: John Pruden
Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (209 ratings)
Regular price: $27.99
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Publisher's Summary

When Michael Collins decided to become a surgeon, he was 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 felt inadequate and unprepared. All too soon the euphoria of beginning his career as an orthopedic resident gave way to the feeling he was a counterfeit, an imposter who had 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 junkyard, long weekends moonlighting at rural hospitals, a family that grows larger every year, and a laughable income.

©2005 Michael J. Collins, MD (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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great for a medical mind

It is a great book for a medical mind. There were many large medical words that intrigued me and the story is very personal to anyone worried about medical school, in their training, or reflecting on the past.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A cut above the rest

I have a weakness for medical "coming of age" books and have read a lot of them. I have followed a surprisingly large number of physicians' memoirs of their education. This book is outstanding in its genre. The author is sometimes vulnerable, sometimes proud but always honest. The book covers the three years from when he begins his residency in Orthopedics at the Mayo Clinic and leaves there three years later to go into private practice. He's at his best when he describes his patients and his failures as well as his successes. I was stunned to find that twice I was near to tears and there were times when I laughed out loud at his down to earth humor and observations f the people around him. The book is not only about medicine, it is about family, about struggles to live on a Resident's salary and the sacrifices that the family must make to get through the three-year residency. This is one of the best books, of the hundreds, literally, that I have listened to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I think I missed the point

After finishing this book I’m left wondering who is this book for and are they expected to take from it.
It seems like this would be more suited as a personal homage to Dr. Collins’ time as a resident and those he spent it with then something to be read by medical students considering orthopaedics or for entertainment by others.
My major issues would be;
The repetitive introspective arguments feel sensationalised or dramatised. The topic of breasts and attractiveness of females is oddly frequent which does little to dispel the stereotype that plages orthopaedics.
The good;
Medical jargon isn’t shied away from and many struggles of residency are highlighted.

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Great story!!!

Listening to a book performed by John Pruden is the most personal experience one can have with a book!! John must be very particular in choosing great books to perform, since I have found all of his books a great “listen”! Be it medical terminology or fighter pilot jargon, he seems so natural that you’re right there inside the story — a participant rather than a listener!!! Great job John, great story Dr Mike!!!

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Just OK

Any additional comments?

I really tried to like this doctor, but in the end I didn't. He spells out an interesting journey of trying to figure out how to be a good human being while trying to become a good surgeon. Some of the stories are gruesome so beware if you don't have a strong stomach for this kind of thing. I didn't mind that so much as the uncaring for some patient's pain and fear.

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Review

I noticed many stories repeated in later chapters. So it seemed like it needed more editing.

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Fantastic

Loved the book! Just the right balance of humor and seriousness to drive home the underlying themes. Mikes daydreams have a 'style' similar to the ones Ralphie has in "A Christmas Story" which were hilarious! The narrator helps make the most of the book as well!

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Down-to-Earth and smart as hell

One of the funniest medical books I have ever read. This surgeon will leave you feeling hope in the medical field again - a field that is full of intelligence, humanity, and real compassion. Dr. Collins has integrity and it shows through his stories and writing.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Boring

The book was very repetitive. He also uses too many sexual remarks-he makes physicians seem inappropriate.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Nobbby
  • 06-20-17

A great tale of residency.

I absolutely loved this book. To be honest I didn't want it to end.
I wish there was a follow up that covered his years after residency.

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  • T. MOORE
  • 06-03-17

I really enjoyed this book

It kept my attention throughout, it was to do with the medical world, topic I enjoy.
Recommend for those who also enjoy medical storylines, factual or otherwise.

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  • Robert
  • 03-18-17

Excellent blend of cold medical reality and hot humor!

Very interesting excellently written book that is understandable by both medical and non-medical audience. Great humor. Harsh medical reality. Great performance of the narrator. One of the best audiobooks I've listened to. Highly recommend. Reminds me of my residency times.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-13-18

A fun yet gruelling journey!

Great narrator. A unique insight into the struggle to become a surgeon. Loved it! Thanks