Published: 28/01/2017
ISBN: 9781785898440
eISBN: 9781788038423
Format: Paperback/eBook

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Tender is the Scalpel's Edge
Stories from the Journal of an NHS Consultant Surgeon
by Gautam Das

Glimpses from the journal of an NHS consultant surgeon.

What is it like to be the senior surgeon when a young woman is brought to casualty with a life-threatening bleed?
What does the fear of cancer do to a person?
Is it ever best not to tell the patient everything?

Tender is the Scalpel’s Edge draws on Gautam Das’s real-life experiences working in Britain’s busy NHS hospitals, from the plunging depths of a patient dying on the operating table to the euphoria of a life saved by teamwork and skill. Described in exquisite detail and with extreme sensitivity, Gautam shares his journey from a medical student fighting his own inner demons to a senior NHS consultant surgeon.

Shards of his earlier life in India add to the richness of the narrative in tales that observe life with all its contradictions, like the little village boy with bone cancer. While other anecdotes take in the lighter side of life, Tender is the Scalpel’s Edge is written to inform and engross the general reader, as well as those with a curiosity of life behind the surgeon’s mask.

Written in a manner similar to other medical biographies including Henry Marsh’s Do No Harm, Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal and When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Tender is the Scalpel’s Edge is a moving collection of true stories from a professional at the frontline of medical care.

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The RoSPA OS&H Journal

The Pharmaceutical Journal

The Mirror

Belfast Telegraph

The Irish News

Female First

This a thoughtful memoir by Gautam Das who has a long successful consultant as a Consultant Urologist. (I think if I had know specifically the book was about a urologist I might have been a bit turned off - but glad I didn't know too much about what I was in for).

Das recounts his early days of training and education in India and then England. Das touches on the personal as well as the professional and actually does much to dispell the image of the cold, detached and emotionless surgeon we are often taught to expect.

The anecdotes are well recounted and although not in chronological order flow well. There isn't too much medical jargon to confound the lay person.

All in all a very good read about a compassionate doctor's lifetime of experiences.

by NetGalley reviewer

Tender is the Scalpel’s Edge is a medical biography by Gautam Das a senior urology surgeon practising in Britain's NHS hospitals.
True stories are taken from his journal & range from death during surgery to the excitement of saving a patient's life. Teamwork & skill combined with medical advances are shown to greatly increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Glimpses of Gautam's childhood in India mingle with tales of his student days & as a fully qualified consultant. His story reveals the human side to medical care including a sense of humour. Readers are treated to an in depth narrative of medical matters in the hope it creates understanding &/or inspires interest in medical study.
I initially thought the story would be better suited to a reader with a medical background. This was due to the in-depth detail & having to look up the meaning of words not in every day use. I am glad that I persevered as I was shown the human side to a surgeon, one I had not previously considered. The information on medical conditions & treatment became very interesting & easy to understand. This story has increased my admiration for doctors & the work they do.

by NetGalley review

An engrossing insight into the life of this very excellent consultant surgeon. A must read!

by Julie Corcoran

A wonderful read scanning the education and working life of Gautam Das, a Consultant Surgeon from his beginnings in Calcutta to various NHS hospitals across England. There are snippets of stories of operations and consultations with a range of patients and diseases within the field of Urology.

This book gives an insight into Gautum’s life showing that it takes a special kind of human being to choose this path and carry out this kind of work. His compassion and love of his profession came through strongly as did his dedication to his chosen field.

It is well paced and throughout I found myself eager to get to the end of chapters to find out what happened to the patients. There is some technical jargon jotted about that had me reaching for my phone on a few occasions to decipher meanings, but not enough to put me off. Not only was it a great read, but I also found I learnt about various facets of the medical profession.

by Amanda Campbell (NetGalley reviewer)

I absolutely was riveted by this collection of cases from the surgeons perspective,it was warm,sometimes funny sometimes sad,a very worthy read written and presented beautifully..

by Lynne Reed

An interesting and entertaining look into the working of a busy national health consultant. A great read that really gives an insight into the life in a busy hospital.

by carol green


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