The struggle to perform well is universal, but nowhere is this drive to do better more important than in medicine. In his new book, Atul Gawande explores grippingly how doctors strive to close the gap between best intentions and best performance in the face of obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable. His vivid stories take us to battlefield ...
The struggle to perform well is universal, but nowhere is this drive to do better more important than in medicine. In his new book, Atul Gawande explores grippingly how doctors strive to close the gap between best intentions and best performance in the face of obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable. His vivid stories take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, 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 he gives a brutally honest insight into life as a practising surgeon. Unflinching but compassionate, Gawande's investigation into medical professionals and their progression from good to great provides a detailed blueprint for success that can be used by people in every area of human endeavour.
I could barely put down Atul Gawande's book on performance in medicine, "Better." Through true accounts that span different fields of medicine, Gawande relates his impressions on where medical practices fail and where they achieve brilliant innovations (often despite incredibly difficult working conditions). There are stories here about combating hospital infections, the WHO's effort to eradicate polio, Forward Surgical Teams in Iraq, basic etiquette for physical exams, medical professionals who have participated in executions of convicts, the malpractice system, and more. This is a broad look at doctors trying to do their best in all walks of the profession, and at times the book is terrifying for a person interested in medicine as a career. Ultimately, however, the tone of the book is very hopeful. We all do the best we can, and Gawande is interested in accumulating the information that can help doctors achieve this goal of perpetual betterment. While I think that medical professionals would benefit from reading this book, I also think that laypersons can get a lot out of these stories, and gain a better understanding of the healthcare system we have as well as healthcare across the globe.
Jan 10, 2008
Not quite as good as Complications but still good. Where Complications was a good read for anyone, Better is a must read for someone interested in going into the medical profession. It gives you some of the good and bad of the profession and ways it can be improved.
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