HOT LIGHTS, COLD STEEL
This story of Mike's four-year surgical residency at the Mayo Clinic traces his rise from 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.
Adored by readers and critics alike, Hot Lights, Cold Steel is a gripping memoir, at times devastating, often triumphant, but always compulsively readable. It has been translated into several different languages and is a modern classic in the field of medical memoir.
Read an excerpt
Book Club Questions
BUY THE BOOK:
Barnes & Noble
St. Martin's Griffin, January 2006, ISBN-13: 978-0312352691
#3 on the Chicago area independent bookstores paperback nonfiction list!
"...he details, with admirable humor and insight, the early, virtually sleepless years when he learned not only to perfect his craft but to come to terms with the emotional impact of causing pain and losing patients... There are moving passages about his love for [his wife] Patti and the bonds he developed with other residents, and empathetic evocations of those he treats. Collins describes powerfully how he came to understand that his calling was not just to develop as a skilled surgical technician, but to treat his patients humanely as individuals."
"...his innate sense of humorbrilliantly demonstrated in this memoir of his Mayo residency... If Collins' scalpel is as sharp as his pen, his patients are in capable hands, indeed."
Booklist, Starred Review
"Like the very best episode of ER, Collins' memoir races from one trauma to the next, keeping this reader spellbound all the way. Collins' life as a surgical resident is heartbreaking one minute and triumphant the next. You'll laugh and cry and cheer along with him as his epic journey to become a doctor races toward its gripping conclusion. I love this book and won't soon forget it."
Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Dry and Magical Thinking
"One of the best, funniest medical memoirs I have ever read. Hot Lights, Cold Steel is at once darkly humorous and truly compassionate. Not since House of God has there been such a ferociously funny look at the world of hospital medicine."
Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of Fatal and The Society
"I adore this book. It's so polished and hilarious. It brought back all the stomach-churning anxieties of my own residency so vividly that I felt exhausted reading it. Dr. Collins has my highest admiration. I give this book a 10+!"
Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Surgeon and The Apprentice
"Do not walk. Run to your nearest library or book store and pick up a copy of this marvelous memoir. Then prepare yourself for several hours of the finest reading of your life."
Emily McCormick, Chicago Life
"Dr. Michael J. Collins' memoir of his four years as a surgical resident at Minnesota's Mayo Clinic (is) quite a story. I don't usually think of memoirs as page turners, but this one kept me up until 2 a.m. last night."
Peter Tillman, Rambles.net
"...a damn good read"
"a profoundly rich book about how one doctor lives life and confronts death... I highly recommend this book."
Frank West, Irish American News