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Better : A Surgeon's Notes on Performance - Atul Gawande

Better

A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

Hardcover Published: 3rd April 2007
ISBN: 9780805082111
Number Of Pages: 273

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"The New York Times" bestselling author of "Complications" examines, in riveting accounts of medical failure and triumph, how success is achieved in a complex and risk-filled profession The struggle to perform well is universal: each one of us faces fatigue, limited resources, and imperfect abilities in whatever we do. But nowhere is this drive to do better more important than in medicine, where lives are on the line with every decision. In his new book, Atul Gawande explores how doctors strive to close the gap between best intentions and best performance in the face of obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable.
Gawande's gripping stories of diligence, ingenuity, and what it means to do right by people take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, to labor and delivery rooms in Boston, to a polio outbreak in India, and to malpractice courtrooms around the country. He discusses the ethical dilemmas of doctors' participation in lethal injections, examines the influence of money on modern medicine, and recounts the astoundingly contentious history of hand washing. And as in all his writing, Gawande gives us an inside look at his own life as a practicing surgeon, offering a searingly honest firsthand account of work in a field where mistakes are both unavoidable and unthinkable.
At once unflinching and compassionate, "Better" is an exhilarating journey narrated by "arguably the best nonfiction doctor-writer around" ("Salon"). Gawande's investigation into medical professionals and how they progress from merely good to great provides rare insight into the elements of success, illuminating every area of human endeavor. Atul Gawande, a MacArthur fellow, is a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for "The New Yorker," an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. His first book "Complications," was a "New York Times" bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Award. Gawande lives with his wife and three children in Newton, Massachusetts. The struggle to perform well is universal: each one of us faces fatigue, limited resources, and imperfect abilities in whatever we do. But nowhere is this drive to do better more important than in medicine, where lives are on the line with every decision. In his new book, Atul Gawande explores how doctors strive to close the gap between best intentions and best performance in the face of obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable.
Gawande's gripping stories of diligence, ingenuity, and what it means to do right by people take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, labor and delivery rooms in Boston, a polio outbreak in India, and malpractice courtrooms around the country. He discusses the ethical dilemmas of doctors' participation in lethal injections, examines the influence of money on modern medicine, and recounts the astoundingly contentious history of hand washing. And as in all his writing, Gawande gives us an inside look at his own life as a practicing surgeon, offering a searingly honest firsthand account of work in a field where mistakes are both unavoidable and unthinkable.
At once unflinching and compassionate, "Better" is an exhilarating journey narrated by "a writer with a scalpel pen and an X-ray eye" ("Time"). Gawande's investigation into medical professionals and how they progress from merely good to great provides rare insight into the elements of success, illuminating every area of human endeavor. "'What does it take to be good at something, when failure is so easy?' asks writer/physician Gawande . . . Diligence, ingenuity and 'doing right' . . . Gawande illustrates each of these qualities with stories from his own experience, and] his observations of and conversations with other physicians . . . For young doctors . . . Gawande suggests five strategies: Ask unscripted questions, don't complain, 'count something' (be a scientist as well as a doctor), write something (to make yourself part of a larger world) and change in response to new ideas. A must-read for medical professionals-and a discerning, humanizing portrait of doctors at work for the rest of us."--"Kirkus Reviews" "Gawande provides a cleareyed view of the medical profession that both resonates and gives pause. Once again, he spares no one, himself included. Gawande, a surgeon, manages to capture medicine in all of its complex and chaotic glory, and to put it, still squirming with life, down on the page . . . Gawande's meditation on performance is not only an absorbing collection of essays but also an exhilarating call for the rest of us to do the same . . . Gawande has the ability to deconstruct and explain the most difficult issues while preserving, even celebrating, their complexity. He applies a sly sense of humor to even the most unsettling topics. And his voice is so direct that at times it borders on painful (at least from the perspective of a fellow doctor) . . . With this book, Gawande inspires all of us, doctor or not, to be better."--Pauline W. Chen, "The New York Times Book Review """ ""Better" is a masterpiece, a series of stories set inside the four walls of a hospital that end up telling us something unforgettable about the world outside."--Malcolm Gladwell, author of "Blink " ""Better" is a mesmerizing book with fascinations on every page, told with mastery, insight, compassion, and humility by a surgeon who doesn't flinch from taboo subjects or self-examination. His topics range from the invisible to the unspeakable, and some chapters are exciting medical mysteries. On every page, one meets a candid and thoughtful man, who pays close attention, and who somehow manages to find the right balance between intimacy and respectfulness, in a world that can be inhospitable to both."--Diane Ackerman, author of "An Alchemy of Mind """ "It's hard to think of a writer working today who makes such good use of man's quest to avoid pain and death. Atul Gawande is not only ad

Industry Reviews

"Gawande is a writer with a scalpel pen and an X-ray eye...Diagnosis: riveting." "None surpass Gawande in his power to conjure the thrill of the moment-by-moment medical or surgical drama." " It's hard to think of a writer working today who makes such good use of man's quest to avoid pain and death. Atul Gawande is not only adding to the small shelf of books by doctors that every layman should read. He's using medicine to help anyone who hopes to do anything better." -- Michael Lewis, author of "The Blind Side""" ""Better" is a mesmerizing book with fascinations on every page, told with mastery, insight, compassion, and humility by a surgeon who doesn't flinch from taboo subjects or self-examination. His topics range from the invisible to the unspeakable, and some chapters are exciting medical mysteries. On every page, one meets a candid and thoughtful man, who pays close attention, and who somehow manages to find the right balance between intimacy and respectfulness, in a world that can be inhospitable to both."-- Diane Ackerman, author of "An Alchemy of Mind""" ""Better" is a masterpiece, a series of stories set inside the four walls of a hospital that end up telling us something unforgettable about the world outside."-- Malcolm Gladwell, author of "Blink" and "The Tipping Point" "It's hard to think of a writer working today who makes such good use of man's quest to avoid pain and death. Atul Gawande is not only adding to the small shelf of books by doctors that every layman should read. He's using medicine to help anyone who hopes to do anything better."--Michael Lewis, author of "The Blind Side""" ""Better" is a mesmerizing book with fascinations on every page, told with mastery, insight, compassion, and humility by a surgeon who doesn't flinch from taboo subjects or self-examination. His topics range from the invisible to the unspeakable, and some chapters are exciting medical mysteries. On every page, one meets a candid and thoughtful man, who pays close attention, and who somehow manages to find the right balance between intimacy and respectfulness, in a world that can be inhospitable to both."--Diane Ackerman, author of "An Alchemy of Mind""" ""Better" is a masterpiece, a series of stories set inside the four walls of a hospital that end up telling us something unforgettable about the world outside."--Malcolm Gladwell, author of "Blink" and "The Tipping Point" "It's hard to think of a writer working today who makes such good use of man's quest to avoid pain and death. Atul Gawande is not only adding to the small shelf of books by doctors that every layman should read. He's using medicine to help anyone who hopes to do anything better." --Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side

"Better is a mesmerizing book with fascinations on every page, told with mastery, insight, compassion, and humility by a surgeon who doesn't flinch from taboo subjects or self-examination. His topics range from the invisible to the unspeakable, and some chapters are exciting medical mysteries. On every page, one meets a candid and thoughtful man, who pays close attention, and who somehow manages to find the right balance between intimacy and respectfulness, in a world that can be inhospitable to both." --Diane Ackerman, author of An Alchemy of Mind

"Better is a masterpiece, a series of stories set inside the four walls of a hospital that end up telling us something unforgettable about the world outside." --Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point It's hard to think of a writer working today who makes such good use of man's quest to avoid pain and death. Atul Gawande is not only adding to the small shelf of books by doctors that every layman should read. He's using medicine to help anyone who hopes to do anything better. Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side

Better is a mesmerizing book with fascinations on every page, told with mastery, insight, compassion, and humility by a surgeon who doesn't flinch from taboo subjects or self-examination. His topics range from the invisible to the unspeakable, and some chapters are exciting medical mysteries. On every page, one meets a candid and thoughtful man, who pays close attention, and who somehow manages to find the right balance between intimacy and respectfulness, in a world that can be inhospitable to both. Diane Ackerman, author of An Alchemy of Mind

Better is a masterpiece, a series of stories set inside the four walls of a hospital that end up telling us something unforgettable about the world outside. Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point

" It's hard to think of a writer working today who makes such good use of man's quest to avoid pain and death. Atul Gawande is not only adding to the small shelf of books by doctors that every layman should read. He's using medicine to help anyone who hopes to do anything better. "Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side"

"Better" is a mesmerizing book with fascinations on every page, told with mastery, insight, compassion, and humility by a surgeon who doesn't flinch from taboo subjects or self-examination. His topics range from the invisible to the unspeakable, and some chapters are exciting medical mysteries. On every page, one meets a candid and thoughtful man, who pays close attention, and who somehow manages to find the right balance between intimacy and respectfulness, in a world that can be inhospitable to both. "Diane Ackerman, author of An Alchemy of Mind"

"Better" is a masterpiece, a series of stories set inside the four walls of a hospital that end up telling us something unforgettable about the world outside. "Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point""

ISBN: 9780805082111
ISBN-10: 0805082115
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 273
Published: 3rd April 2007
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.08 x 14.73  x 3.05
Weight (kg): 0.36

Earn 94 Qantas Points
on this Book