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Admissions: Life as a Brain Surgeon

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  3,006 ratings  ·  312 reviews
Henry Marsh has spent a lifetime operating on the surgical front line. There have been exhilarating highs and devastating lows, but his love for the practice of neurosurgery has never wavered.

Following the publication of his celebrated New York Times bestseller Do No Harm, Marsh retired from his full-time job in England to work pro bono in Ukraine and Nepal. In Admissions
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by St. Martin's Press
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,006 ratings  ·  312 reviews

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Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caroline by: Bettie☯
Shelves: auto-and-biog
I love autobiographies. Sometimes one identifies strongly with the writer, and the reading process feels quite seamless. Then there are other writers whose experiences of life and the world are very different to yours. This makes for a bumpy ride, with little identification, but these books are often the most fascinating. For me this autobiography fits the latter mould.

Marsh starts the book by telling us that above everything, he values his suicide kit, which he plans to use if he gets dementia,
Brain surgeon Henry Marsh’s first book, Do No Harm, was one of my favorite reads of 2015. Admissions serves as a sort of sequel, recording Marsh’s last few weeks at his London hospital and the projects that have driven him during his first years of retirement: woodworking, renovating a derelict lock-keeper’s cottage by the canal in Oxford, and yet more neurosurgery on medical missions to Nepal and the Ukraine. But he also ranges widely over his past, recalling cases from his early years in medic ...more

Description: Nearing the end of his career, neurosurgeon Henry Marsh reflects on a life in surgery.

Marsh read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University before studying medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London, graduating in 1979. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1984 and was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson Morley's/St.George's in 1987, he retired from there in 2015 and has since continued to operate in
Canadian Reader
It's been some time since I read Henry Marsh's wonderful and compelling memoir of his life in neurosurgery, Do No Harm. I had hoped to re-read it prior to starting his new one, Admissions, but I didn't manage it. I'd ordered the book from Britain-- as it won't appear in Canada until the fall of 2017, and I didn't want to wait. I started it almost immediately. Given the passage of time, I do not know if my recollections of the first book are to be fully trusted, but this new book feels very diffe ...more
Нашій медицині не вистачає генрі маршів.
Нашій політиці.
Нашій сфері послуг.
Сфері продажів.
Військовій сфері.
І просто нам.
Нам не вистачає Генрі Марша в нас. Адже,як зазначено в післямові, правда – релігія Генрі Марша. А вміння визнавати власні помилки – одна з найменш притаманних нашому суспільству рис.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another book by Henry Marsh that puts you into the life and death brain surgeries that he performs. This one is near the ending of his NHS employment and he posits upon retirement and his future "workshop" rehab project.

This is the book that gives us his regrets, his "admissions" to fault. Not just to his unsuccessful brain tumor surgery outcomes, but to his lacks or his inabilities to connect when he feels he should have been able to do so. This book is about self-appraisal and his is brutal a
Stewart Tame
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I won an ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. It's apparently due to be published in October of 2017. A bookmark that came with it urges me to include #stmartinspress in my review, so consider it done.

Yet another book where the title sums it up more succinctly than I ever could. Henry Marsh is indeed a brain surgeon (presumably retired by now), and this is actually his second volume of memoirs (Do No Harm was the first. ) The book was fascinating. Marsh writes well, with great candor, and a
Michelle Keill
Marsh's 'Do No Harm' is one of the most compelling books I've ever read, and gave me pause at many points. This one did too, but for different reasons. In this book we find Marsh contemplating retirement, and reflecting on what went right, and what went (often catastrophically) wrong with his career, his profession, and his life in general. It is a sad, poignant, and often very pessimistic memoir, as Marsh reflects on letting go not just of his 'calling', but of life too. His thoughts on mortali ...more
Miriam Smith
Won in Goodreads Giveaways - not read, passed on.
Monica Willyard
Jan 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audible, kindle, medical, nls
This book presents an interesting look into the life and mindset of a brain surgeon. He was trained and worked in the United Kingdom but also did volunteer work in several Third World countries. He describes and contrasts doing medicine in those very different environments.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An eye opener.
A family member passed away as a result of brain trauma and this book appealed to me to understand what happens behind those doors.
I found it enlightening and such an amazing journey to observe as a reader. I think I’d be interested to read in more of a ‘case study’ format but I’d recommend this!
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medicine, memoirs
Я захоплююсь Генрі Маршем! Абсолютно щира, до болю чесна, але в той же час тепла, світла і неймовірно людяна книга надзвичайного Лікаря.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, non-fiction
Скажімо так, для мене медицина досі ще трішки магія.
Тому Генрі Марш для мене - це чарівник найвищого рівня.
А в цій книжки він говорить про це якраз із протилежної точки зору.
Що медицина - це робота, а лікарі - просто люди.
Ну може не зовсім просто, їм не так вже й легко залишатися людьми,
коли треба вирішувати питання життя і смерті.
Але говорить - це так яскраво, влучно, щиро, що відірватися важко.
Хоча й на перший погляд ця книжка не є чимося цілим, а скоріш фрагментами щоденників, спогадів, о
A heartfelt look at what a brain surgeon lives with inside and outside his medical practice, how he got there and how he left it. Well narrated. I liked his voice and his honesty.

If I get to join him in the great nothingness after death, I will be happy. If not, neither of us will know anyway.

I earnestly hope I never have to have brain surgery, ever!
Shirley Revill
Henry Marsh
What a wonderful book.
I really enjoyed reading Admissions. A life in brain surgery by Henry Marsh.
Really interesting to read about his life working in London,Nepal and the Ukraine easing the pain and suffering of so many.
I felt very humbled by the memoirs of this man.
This book is certainly going on my to read again another day book shelf.
Thank you Good reads for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Very highly recommended.
Lindsay Seddon
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Should definitely be read as more of a biography than as a continuation of his first book, Do No Harm.

I found the stories of various operations both in the UK and Ukraine really interesting, but found myself skipping over life in Nepal and the renovations to the house he decided to make-over.
Essam Munir
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
This book is in no comparison to Do No Harm. I really admire Dr. Marsh but this book seems like a bunch of scattered ideas that you can't but feel bored (for most of the time).
I anticipated a lot of 'medical scenarios' but there were few and the remainder is an autobiography.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medical
I absolutely loved this book. I am a medic (sorry - spoiler alert) and have always been a bit fearful and judgmental about the traditionally assumed personality traits of the neurosurgeon - brusque, unapproachable, uncaring, unapproachable - and quite fearful of them as people (colleagues). This book is humblingly (if there is such a word) honest, disarming and just a wonderful, honest, frank book. Mr Marsh is honest about himself and his own life choice, experiences, and things he regrets as we ...more
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“When my brain dies, ‘I’ will die. ‘I’ am a transient electrochemical dance, made of myriad bits of information; and information, as the physicists tell us, is physical. What those myriad pieces of information, disassembled, will recombine to form after my death, there is no way of knowing. I had once hoped it would be oak leaves and wood. Perhaps now it will be walnut and apple in the cottage garden, if my children choose to scatter my ashes there.”

I love Dr. Marsh’s books not only for his tale
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two and a half years back, I remember being left a little bewildered by the celebrated first book by ace surgeon Marsh which came packaged as a slice of life memoir-of-sorts which, to my consternation back then, alternated unannounced between his frustration with the current management styles in NHS hospitals, some scenes from difficult neurosurgical cases that took you right into the heart of his surgical practice and his brief, thwarted attempt to set up a neurosurgical mentorship and practice ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Espero no tener que operarme nunca.
Anastasia Moroz
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
«Ми не хочемо втрачати те, що маємо, навіть якщо нам пропонують на обмін щось справді цінне. Круглі камінчики в кишенях божевільних ставали ціннішими за всі камінчики лікарняного саду тільки через те, що вони вже комусь належали.»

Ох, яка ж крутезна книжка! Читала до ранку, так хотілося закінчити. Дуже-дуже раджу вам автобіографії Генрі Марша. Я закохана в його розповіді.

Отже, це автобіографічний роман. Цього разу ще відвертіше про життя, смерть та нейрохірургію. Про життєвий досвід та роботу в О
Michelle Davaadorj
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Насаараа мэдрэлийн мэс засалч хийсэн хүний намтар байлаа. Тэтгэвэрт гарахдаа хэрхэн үнэхээр өөрийх нь амьдралаа зориулсан зүйл нь үнэ цэнэтэй байсан эсэхэд эргэлзэнэ. Английн эрүүл мэндийн тогтолцоогоо ч айхтар шүүмжилнэ. Непалд очиж ажиллахдаа бас өөрийнхөө дотор луу өнгийж, хувийн амьдралаа дүгнэнэ. Мөн өндөр хөгжсөн ба буурай орнуудын иргэдийн эрүүл мэндийн чанар ямар харьцангуй байдгийг өгүүлнэ. Гэхдээ хамгийн чухал зүйл бол мундаг эмч хэдий ч өөрийн алдаж байсан тохиолдлоо нуухгүй илэн дала ...more
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: health-medicine
The author reflects on his later life, involving retirement, volunteer work in Nepal and the Ukraine, and buying a rustic run-down cottage near a canal in England. About half of it is medical, and half reflections on his life. He rambles a bit, but that's the nature of memoirs.

He talks as if he's elderly. I am the same age as him. We are definitely aging, and yes, the end is somewhere in sight. But I don't feel as old as he seems to, and he seems to have more of the weight of the world on his sh
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In this book, the author recounts his experiences in working - and then retiring - as a neurosurgeon from the National Health Service, then working in Nepal and in the Ukraine, helping to train neurosurgeons. Marsh is an extraordinary writer - richly describing the practice of neurosurgery in both the modern world and in the third world, the patients, the dilemmas and difficulties he faces, his mistakes and misjudgments (Admissions?) along the way. He grapples with mortality, death with and with ...more
Sergei Ter-Tumasov
Если бы не читал первую книгу мемуаров Генри Марша, то эта мне бы понравилась!

В который раз убеждаюсь, что не стоит читать книги одного автора друг за другом (только если это, конечно, не серия книг), потому что его стиль и жизненная философия (особенно если она не совпадает с моей) начинают приедаться. В книге очень много повторений, как по сравнению с первой частью, так даже и с другими главами этой же книги!!!

Не понравились эпизоды, где описывается личная жизнь автора. Это было совсем не инте
Christine Schwab
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not a review, just these passages packed huge punches for me. When he says he exploited his parents, but their undying support was what gave him his strong self-confidence that was both blessing and curse. And when he admits being uncomfortable with a dying patient and says something like, "talking to a patient about their inevitable death is difficult, and even more difficult when the room smells like s*$t"... ouuuuffff. so honest. and he admits he let this patient down and feels guilty about i ...more
Kris Springer
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Memoir might be my favorite kind of book, and I especially enjoy memoirs in which the author lives a life very different from my own, so that I can vicariously be a chef, or in this case, a British brain surgeon, operating in London, the Ukraine and Nepal. I also love to accompany the author on his flight of thought, skimming the present, the past, and the future, and reflecting on how the pieces of his life fit together.
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
The second part of Marsh's memoirs about life as a neurosurgeon. Here he talks about the end of his career and life after retirement. He discusses his work helping the people of Nepal and Ukraine as well as some of the cases he dealt with in the UK. Marsh has led an interesting life and this book gives us an insight into that.
Samantha Price
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Edit: still the same amount of stars but the realization that doctors are human and flawed made me very scared and suspicious breaking my arm and going through a system I now knew more about. Usually I am very trustworthy. Not a bad/good thing, just a comment.

My first audio book!! I like when authors read their memoirs. Reminded me a lot of Being Mortal. At the end of his life Henry is reflecting on his time being a neuro surgeon. I’m not sure if I am happy to know he felt anxieties talking hone
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Henry Marsh read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University before studying medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1984 and was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson Morley's/St George's Hospital in London in 1987, where he still works full time.

He has been the subject of two major documentary films, YOUR LIFE IN
“For those who believe in an afterlife, must we suffer as we lie dying, if we are to earn our place in heaven? Must the soul undergo a painful birth if it is to survive the body’s death, and then ascend to heaven? Is it yet more magic and bargaining – if we suffer now, we will not suffer in the future? We will not go to hell or linger as unhappy ghosts? Is it cheating, to have a quick and easy death? But I do not believe in an afterlife – my concern is simply to achieve a good death. When the time comes, I want to get it over with. I do not want it to be some prolonged and unpleasant experience, presided over by terminal-care professionals, who derive their own sense of meaning and purpose from my suffering. The only meaning of death is how I live my life now and what I will have to look back upon as I lie dying.” 2 likes
“The famous sea squirt, beloved of popular neuroscience lectures, in its larval stage is motile and has a primitive nervous system (called a notochord) so it can navigate the sea – at least, its own very small corner of it. In its adult stage it fastens limpet-like to a rock and feeds passively, simply depending on the influx of seawater through its tubes. It then reabsorbs its nervous system – it is no longer needed since the creature no longer needs to move.” 1 likes
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