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• As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences. – Eben Alexander
• As a pediatric neurosurgeon, I frequently faced life and death situations, and had to come up with the right diagnosis, the right plan, and execute that plan frequently with other colleagues. – Benjamin Carson


• Do you want to do this thing? Sit down and do it. Are you not writing? Keep sitting there. Does it not feel right? Keep sitting there. Think of yourself as a monk walking the path to enlightenment. Think of yourself as a high school senior wanting to be a neurosurgeon. Is it possible? Yes. Is there some shortcut? Not one I’ve found. Writing is a miserable, awful business. Stay with it. It is better than anything in the world. – Ann Patchett

• [Doctor Strange] is still quite cocky by the end of the film. No, I’d say the major curve for him is that he learns that it’s not all about him, that there’s a greater good. But what he thinks he was doing as a neurosurgeon, that was good because it benefitted people’s health was really just a furtherment of his attempts to control death and control his own fate and other people’s, but that’s still driven by the ego. – Benedict Cumberbatch

• How gullible are you? Is your gullibility located in some “gullibility center” in your brain? Could a neurosurgeon reach in and perform some delicate operation to lower your gullibility, otherwise leaving you alone? If you believe this, you are pretty gullible, and should perhaps consider such an operation. – Douglas Hofstadter
• I dont know where the idea originated that memoir writing is cathartic. For me, its always felt like playing my own neurosurgeon, sans anesthesia. As a memoirist, you have to crack your head open and examine every uncomfortable thing in there. – Koren Zailckas
• I grew up in a scientific world, the son of a neurosurgeon. – Eben Alexander
• I had this fantasy of becoming a neurosurgeon. You know, the normal Jewish boy fantasy, but I wanted to be a neurosurgeon for some reason. So I started in this unpleasant way. I was an assistant to the coroner, opening up corpses, taking the innards out, opening skulls, taking the brains out. – Joseph Brodsky
• I remember telling a neurosurgeon, “Don’t give me too much information, because at the moment my ignorance is my best asset.” – Christopher Reeve
• I think Dr. Ben Carson is a unique political personality. He’s what we call a conviction politician. He actually believes in what he says. Here’s a fellow who had been a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins for over 30 years. Babies conjoined at the head, he is the one that did that. He’s a superstar. Ben Carson steps away from medicine, looks at the political environment around him, and he is aghast at what he sees. – Daniel Henninger
• I was asked by an NPR reporter once, why don’t I talk about race that often. I said it’s because I’m a neurosurgeon. And she thought that was a strange response. And you say – I said, you see, when I take someone to the operating room, I’m actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn’t make them who they are. – Benjamin Carson
• I’d written Smashed not because I was ambitious and not because writing down my feelings was cathartic (it felt more like playing one’s own neurosurgeon sans anesthesia). No. I’d made a habit–and eventually a profession–of memoir because I hail from one of those families where shows of emotions are discouraged. – Koren Zailckas
• It’s one of the things that attracted me to the role [Doctor Strange] is the fact that it’s a really widely origin story, I mean this is part of it, but of course there’s the whole chapter before where he’s the neurosurgeon who has the accident. It’s fantastic. – Benedict Cumberbatch
• The 10,000-hours rule says that if you look at any kind of cognitively complex field, from playing chess to being a neurosurgeon, we see this incredibly consistent pattern that you cannot be good at that unless you practice for 10,000 hours, which is roughly ten years, if you think about four hours a day. – Malcolm Gladwell
• What had I expected of the first child? Everything. Rocket scientist. Neurosurgeon. Designated hitter. We talked wisely at cocktail parties about the sad mistake our mothers had made in pinning all their hopes and dreams on us. We were full of it. – Anna Quindlen
• You don’t want your neurosurgeon to have doubts about the meaning of it all while he or she is operating on your brain. – Aleksandar Hemon

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