Neurol India Home 

Year : 2015  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1014--1015

The Neurosurgeon called White Jack

Lydia Prusty 
 Department of Surgery, M.G.M. Medical College, Kishanganj, Bihar, India

Correspondence Address:
Lydia Prusty
Department of Surgery, M.G.M. Medical College, Kishanganj, Bihar

How to cite this article:
Prusty L. The Neurosurgeon called White Jack.Neurol India 2015;63:1014-1015

How to cite this URL:
Prusty L. The Neurosurgeon called White Jack. Neurol India [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Sep 28 ];63:1014-1015
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Full Text


Author : Hirotoshi Sano

Edition : 1

Publisher : Keiaisha, Japan

Pages : 200

The White Jack: An inspiration

Among all the autobiographies that I've read, and I wouldn't claim to have read a lot, most have left an indelible mark on me, as all autobiographies usually do. Some have instilled in me certain values and thoughts, which I've later found myself pondering upon, while some have altered my perspective regarding certain aspects of my own life. There are others that have broadened the horizon of my thoughts. In some way or the other, whether good or otherwise, each of them have helped to shape me into the person I am today. One such outstanding autobiography that I have recently read was the one by Dr. Hirotoshi Sano, aptly titled, "The Neurosurgeon called White Jack."

Needless to say, Dr. Sano is a stalwart in the field of micro-neurosurgery. His work and his life have been a great source of inspiration to many eminent neurosurgeons of this era. In the words of M.K. Gandhi, "Simplicity is the essence of universality." This adage holds true in the case of Dr. Sano's book. Through simple words, he has mentioned certain inconsequential events of his own life which have established the building blocks and the foundation that have helped him in developing into the great surgeon that he is today. I feel that this holds true for all of us. It is the little events in our life that slowly mould us, pave a path for us, and lead us onto our destiny. I have never had the honor of meeting Professor Sano. Yet, when I read the book, the lucidity of his thoughts touched me so much that I could completely relate to what he said. It was as if he was addressing me in person through his book.

It is a fantastic book for everyone, especially for young medicos who aspire to leave a mark in their respective arena, and most importantly, for those who want to become good doctors. Of all the things he said, what moved me the most was the statement, "Humans are capable of great things." His life exemplifies his intense desire, determination, and devotion to his duty, and, most importantly, illustrates the intense hard work that he has done to reach where he is today. His book clearly illuminates his statement of purpose that there is no alternative to hard work to succeed in one's endeavors. Dr. Sano is an innovative man and through his book he also makes one realize that necessity is the seed of innovation… necessity not just for equipment but to possess the will to do better and to serve better. As doctors, this is what we should all aim for, to serve humanity well, to alleviate pain and suffering, and to give our patients hope for a better life.

He says, "The earlier, the better for surgical experience," that is, why delay your experience and training when your goal is set. To be good at something, one requires constant practice because practice makes one perfect. Every surgeon needs practice. We must be responsible for the decisions we make when another life is at stake. This is a tremendously important responsibility that God has entrusted doctors with. Through his book, Dr. Sano has been able to instill in me the zeal to learn as much as I can, and as fast as I can, before I begin to "wither away."

These are a few of the numerous lessons that one can learn from his life through this book. Despite his busy schedule and his demanding professional commitments, Dr. Sano has always found time to pursue his hobbies such as skiing, playing badminton, and horse riding. He never lost his individuality (which is the true essence of every living being). This book should be read by all young and enthusiastic medicos as it teaches us that beyond our responsibility of becoming good doctors, the first and foremost is to be a good human being. To achieve this, one must unify one's spirit with nature so as to remain completely for the moment… "Dokuzaidaiyoho." Through the medium of this book, Dr. Sano's great words of wisdom shall reverberate through the minds of the readers aiming to attain perfection in their work and life. This book is relevant not only for those with a medical background but also for anyone else who reads it.

As Dr. Kamiyana of the Asahikawa Red Cross Hospital said, "In the future, a giant elephant might appear, but there won't be any more mammoths." Dr. Sano is the mammoth of micro-neurosurgery. He is, after all, truly the "White Jack."