Jenny Brown's Reviews > Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon

Becoming Dr. Q by Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa
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Feb 15, 12

Read in February, 2012

This was a very interesting book. The author's tone is relentlessly cheery and positive, to the point where it sometimes seemed hard to believe anyone could really be like that, but that attitude and the undertone of obsession that runs through this story explains how a boy raised in a shack could transform himself from an illegal immigrant supporting himself as a migrant worker into a top brain surgeon associated with one of the top medical schools in the world.

I was particularly struck by the emphasis that Quinones puts on empathy with patients since my many experiences with doctors have been completely devoid of any trace of it, even when my mom was dying an ugly death.

There is much more depth here than you will find in the "made for TV" version of this kind of inspiring story. I found the medical issues covered to a degree that gave me a feel for what Dr. Q actually does from day to day.

OTOH, I did occasionally wonder about what his wife's version of the story might read like. Dr. Q is frank about not giving his family the time and attention they deserve, but portrays his wife pretty much as a perfect plaster saint without any personality of her own. That he continually expected her to give up any hope of her own career, and tore her away from her friends and family support as soon as he finished his residency without being able to give her and their children any more of his time and attention did bother me. But having grown up with parents who were both professionals in a hospital, I already had a pretty good idea that that was what surgeons were all about. Definitely not men you marry if you want a husband who is actually there.
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Mohamed I couldn't agree more Jenny about this last paragraph. But if his wife wouldn't have made that much sacrifice that family would be ruined and his whole success story would come to a halt, I totally agree that he idealized her but she deserved that and men barely remembers family stuff and when they do that only remember good stuff :) , he mostly forgot her birthday :) and about that much bright spirit and optimism who would be still picking up tomatoes or even hadn't jumped the border. About the tv show,I hadn't watched it, but any book that had been converted to a movie or a tv show losses what you feel and what you imagine and replaces them with what the director thinks.


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