Better by Atul Gawande
A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 11 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

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.

 

About Atul Gawande

See more books from this Author
Atul Gawande is the author of Better and Complications, a National Book Award finalist. He is also a MacArthur Fellow, a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He served as a senior health policy advisor in the Clinton presidential campaign and White House from 1992 to 1993. He received his B.A.S. from Stanford University, M.A. in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University, M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health. He lives with his wife and three children in Newton, Massachusetts.
 
Published January 22, 2008 by Metropolitan Books. 239 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Education & Reference, Professional & Technical, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Better

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

For young doctors wondering how they can make an individual difference, 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.

| Read Full Review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on ...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Gawande divides the essays into three sections — “Diligence,” “Doing Right” and “Ingenuity” — based on the essential components “for success in medicine or in any endeavor that involves risk and responsibility.” Each essay focuses on a problem — the importance of hand-washing, health care deliver...

Apr 22 2007 | Read Full Review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on ...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande Profile £12.99, pp273 Atul Gawande is a surgeon at a leading Boston hospital and an assistant professor at Harvard School of Public Health.

Jun 24 2007 | Read Full Review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Surgeon and MacArthur fellow Gawande applies his gift for dulcet prose to medical and ethical dilemmas in this collection of 12 original and previously published essays adapted from theNew England Journal of Medicine and the New Yorker .

| Read Full Review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on ...

Entertainment Weekly

If the rise in medical malpractice suits (or an average episode of Grey's Anatomy doesn't convince you of the fallibility of doctors, then consult a pair of books by two New Yorker staffers, surgeon Atul Gawande's Better and Harvard Medical School professor Jerome Groopman's How Doctors Think.

Mar 16 2007 | Read Full Review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on ...

Suite 101

To try to find out, a scientist experiments with altered states of consciousness

Jul 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on ...

PopMatters

Near the end of Better, Atul Gawande takes us inside a pediatrician’s office.

Apr 05 2007 | Read Full Review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on ...

Bookmarks Magazine

In this new collection of essays, Dr. Atul Gawande questions the responsibilities of the doctor in modern medicine.

Aug 03 2007 | Read Full Review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on ...

IBN Live

But the book also addresses other issues, like male doctor/ female patient etiquette and the relevance of chaperones (I'm instantly in flashback mode, wishing one of my old Defence Colony-based doctors was more up to speed on stuff like this.) And then Gawande gives some insight when he tracks d...

Aug 09 2007 | Read Full Review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on ...

Stew Over

They introduce a seemingly unsolvable problem, show a simple but untried solution, and then show how this solution is working (albeit with a small sample size).

Oct 11 2012 | Read Full Review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on ...

HealthCentral

Ever since my breast cancer experience in 1996, when I started spending lots of time with medical professionals, I have become fascinated by how doctors think about their profession and their patients.

May 09 2007 | Read Full Review of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on ...

Reader Rating for Better
89%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 339 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×