Cerebral Circus: A Pseudo-Autobiographical Novel
CEREBRAL CIRCUS gives authentic insight into neurological training and research, told in the age-old scenario of the unpolished country boy versus the city slicker. The protagonist is Allen Flint Childress, a half-breed Cherokee lad raised in the infertile red clay hills of North Louisiana. He was drawn into medicine by his love and respect of Dr. Homer Baines Shirley, a tough old country doctor who pulled Allen into the world by a risky traumatic forceps delivery one cold December night in 1967. A straight-A scholarship student at L.S.U., Allen sailed through the premed curriculum by an indefinable instinct and ambition for neurology; attempting as a freshman to register early for senior neuroanatomy. He succeeded in this improbable drive through a risky affair with his faculty advisor, an attractive older woman. Through hard work and scholarship aid, he graduated from Cornell University Medical College in 1991, then went on to internship at Bellevue Hospital in New York, a 3,500 teaching hospital with approximately 1000 trainees. When Allen became a resident physician in neurology, he became embroiled in a longstanding conflict with Dr. Bertrand O. Stanford, senior professor of neurology; who was performing unethical dangerous neurological research because of his ambition to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine. But what could Allen, a mere neurology resident do against a senior professor? Allen gained a modicum of courage when he asked himself, What would old Dr. Homer Shirley who delivered me, do if he were in my shoes?
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