Friday, August 7, 2009

The Brain That Changes Itself

I heard about this book for months before I broke down and bought a copy. I'm a psychiatrist. I treat brain injuries. I'm up to date with the research. I read scientific articles. I've spent hundreds of dollars on neurology textbooks and have the excellent APA, Textbook of Traumatic Brain Injury. I'd rather read another Harlan Coban novel. Why should I spend more money on learning medicine when I've never been compensated for all my extra study to date. I'm making less money than I made as a gp. Yet I kept hearing about this book and this guy Norman Doige. I hated him by the time I went to Book Warehouse because the latest doctor to recommend it said they'd got it at reduced price there.

I hate Norman Doige even more now that I've read most of his book. The first chapters were brilliant. Everything I knew or could see was coming he was ahead of the learning curve on. All the really cutting edge thinking was there. The plasticity of the brain. The brain healing itself. The brain research that shows that the brain will re wire around areas of damage. It's all there. It's got the history of the struggle for change in understanding, the names of the greatest researchers and all the nitty gritty.

I just photocopied a chapter for a patient. That's how good it is. Awful. Norman Doige is amazing and this book is a must read for anyone whose interested in the brain. It's so well written it's an easy read for anyone with college level training too. Not only does Norman Doige know all this great stuff, he communicates it extraordinarily well.

I'm late to love this truly admirable man so am writing this now just so others may be ready for his next book as he'll hopefully write another if he hasn't already. The Brain that Changes Itself is already a classic.

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