Book Reviews

"Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey From Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon"

"When I first met Dr. Q, I thought he had an angel watching out for him--defying death more than once and overcoming the odds of class and racial discrimination. After reading his truly inspirational memoir, I can say that Dr. Q doesn't have an angel. He is simply one of us--a human being who chooses to believe in the capacity of people. And now, every time I see an 'invisible' undocumented immigrant, I see a potential brain surgeon. This is a book about humility, being a dreamer and the power of esperanza--hope."

--Maria Hinojosa, award-winning NPR/PBS anchor and author of Raising Raul and Crews

"Becoming Dr. Q is a gem of a book--an amazing journey of a young man who entered the United States at age 19 as a non-documented migrant farm worker. Through brilliance and hard work, he gained entry to the top-rated Harvard Medical School. Now at Johns Hopkins, he is recognized as a world-renowned neurosurgeon. It was a pleasure to know Alfredo when he was a trailblazing student at Harvard. Everyone who reads this book will be enriched by his inspiring story."

--Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Harvard Medical School

"Becoming Dr. Q is a book that should be read by all high schoolers and college students--it's about how to overcome hardship, about how to believe in our heart's hope, about not allowing your dreams to be co-opted by mediocrity. This should be a handbook for never giving up on your dreams, and if followed, the world would become a greater place for peace, respect and love. Read it--laugh, cry, share in Dr. Q's magnificent journey!"

--Jimmy Santiago Baca, author of "A Glass of Water"

“Becoming Dr. Q is incredible in every sense of the word. . . . Quinones-Hinojosa's long list of talents includes masterful narration. . . . This memoir is fast-paced and nearly impossible to put down. At the end, Dr. Q feels like a friend--and the only surgeon anyone would want operating on his or her brain.”

-- Shelf Awareness

"The life of Dr. Q is a testament to the power of poverty to motivate social ascent, of intellectual prowess to scale academia's heights, and to the power of altruism to give back through the most highly developed medical treatment and creation of new knowledge, through mentoring the next generation, and through his own unique family."

-- Joe L. Martinez, Jr., Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley

"Dr. Q is now one of my most cherished and must read books. I called my niece “Christina Garduno” who just started her freshman year at CSU Fresno and told her she had to come home on Saturday the 8th and hear Dr. Q. at Delta College"

-- Richard Soto, Bilingual Weekly

"This is a spell-binding story of a champion who harnessed the power of passion and dogged determination to triumph over adversity. Be prepared to laugh, cry and to come away enlightened not just about the human brain and its miraculous capacities but also about the human heart."

--Venus Williams, author of Come to Win

"Ever since I first heard Dr. Q's story, my main question was: how does a migrant farm worker with no money and no English overcome the odds and pursue his aspirations at the highest levels of the medical field? Wow--not only is it the stuff of which fairy tales and Hollywood movies are made, but it's also much needed prescription for the soul."

--Chris Gardner, author of The Pursuit of Happyness

"Quite simply, Dr. Q is a hero to many people in the Hispanic community. He went from the farm fields in California to the most advanced operating rooms in the country. He earned $3.35 an hour cultivating tomatoes and chili peppers in the San Joaquin Valley. What makes his journey unique is that the same hands that picked vegetables are now touch the brains of his patients and saving lives. He did, in just one life, what usually takes two or three generations. I can't think of a better example of what an immigrant with ambition and dedication can do in this great country of opportunities. He is, no doubt, a real hero."

--Jorge Ramos, Senior News Anchor, Univision News

"This is the most amazing success story you'll ever read. Be it fiction or non-fiction, there is not another book out there that competes with the rags to stitches tale of Dr. Q. If you are an illegal, Mexican, migrant farmer, it's hard enough to make it from paycheck to paycheck in America, let alone from paycheck to crew supervisor to community college to medical school to brain surgeon. Really, the only thing more amazing than how far he has come, is how far he is likely to go. Who better to find a cure for cancer than a man who knows no obstacles? If I were an immigrant to this country looking to find my way, or a young person looking for motivation, or anyone looking for inspiration, this book would become my bible."

--Steve Hartman, CBS News correspondent

"I used to think that Superman was an American who went by the name Clark Kent. Now I know that he is a Mexican-American who goes by the name Dr Q. Read it to believe it."

--Katrina Firlik, MD, author Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside

"Even as a little kid, Dr. Q dreamed really big dreams, and no matter what the obstacles, he never gave up. I know firsthand that if you don't dream it, you can't become it. Now as a man, not only has he become it, but even more importantly, he is helping others to realize their dreams. Young people around the world will identify with and be motivated by Dr. Q's story. This book is a slam dunk! Rock on, Dr. Q! Rock on!"

--Jason McElwain, author of The Game of My Life

"This is a poignant and timely story that needs to be told. Dr. Q is a heroic and resilient man, whose odyssey should make it more difficult for pundits and others to demonize immigrants from Mexico and Central America. He goes far beyond his obvious technical abilities as a surgeon and demonstrates what an exemplary human being he is--modest, intelligent, and compassionate."

--Paul R. Linde, MD, author of Danger to Self: On the Front Line with an ER Psychiatrist

Quiñones-Hinojosa, along with co-author Mim Eichler Rivas, writes in a matter-of-fact tone without sounding sorry for himself or arrogant. The fast-paced book is most intriguing when he writes about his early life. The last third of the book focuses on his medical cases, but it doesn’t get too technical and is easy to understand. This book will appeal to almost everybody, but it should make its way to the hands of young Hispanics, who will hopefully make Dr. Q their own Kalimán.

-- The Hispanic Reader