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Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performanceby Atul Gawande
Synopses & Reviews
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.
The surgeon-author of Complications explores the efforts of physicians to close the gap between best intentions and best performance in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, discussing such topics as the ethical considerations of lethal injections, the influence of money on modern medicine, malpractice, and surgical errors. Reprint. 75,000 first printing.
The struggle to perform well is universal: each 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 may be on the line with any decision.
Atul Gawande, the New York Times bestselling
About the Author
Atul Gawande, a 2006 MacArthur Fellow, is a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. His first book, Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science, was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the 2002 National Book Award. Gawande lives with his wife and three children in Newton, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
Diligence — On Washing Hands — The Mop-Up — Casualties of War — pt. 2. Doing Right — Naked — What Doctors Owe — Piecework — The Doctors of the Death Chamber — On Fighting — pt. 3. Ingenuity — The Score — The Bell Curve — For Performance — Afterword: Suggestions for Becoming a Positive Deviant.
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