From Publishers Weekly
An orthopedic surgeon whose Mayo Clinic residency he recalled in Hot Lights, Cold Steel,
Collins reaches further back to tell of his days as a Chicago construction worker and, later, medical student. For a few years after college, Collins enjoyed the physicality of constructing curbs and gutters and drinking beer with his pals. But Collins, the oldest of eight boys in a close-knit Irish Catholic family, felt a vague yearning for something more meaningful, which finally coalesced into the dream of becoming a doctor. The Notre Dame graduate went back to college for two years of pre-med courses and entered Loyola at the ripe old age of 26. The next few years were a reality check: the rote memorization in medical school, the petty tasks assigned to an on-call med student and the shock, in his last year of medical school, of finding his intern had committed suicide. Collins received a battlefield promotion to intern. He eventually found himself right at home with the œorthopods, who lack the pretension of the other surgical specialists. This is a perceptive, no-frills memoir of a surgeon who succeeded by dint of hard work and brains. (June)
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Collins's gritty memoir traces his journey from a grimy construction pit to the hallowed halls of medicine. An engaging read--and a valuable reminder that doctors come from all walks of life. (Sandeep Jauhar, author of Intern: A Doctor's Initiation
Collins has a poet's soul, whether describing the sunrise through a laborer's eyes or what it means to be human through a physician's. . . . Literary talent produces this fast-paced memoir filled with easy, unforced dialogue and authentic characters from all walks of life. (Booklist
Collins has a superb ear for dialogue, and his breezy style makes his world spring to life. (Kirkus Reviews
This is a perceptive, no-frills memoir of a surgeon who succeeded by dint of hard work and brains. (Publishers Weekly
)Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs
is a gripping, humane, humorous, and an enlightening read. (Abraham Verghese, author of My Own Country, The Tennis Partner, and Cutting for Stone