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Starred Review. 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 the New England Journal of Medicine and the New Yorker. If his 2002 collection, Complications, addressed the unfathomable intractability of the body, this is largely about how we erect barriers to seamless and thorough care. Doctors know they should wash their hands more often to avoid bacterial transfer in the ward, but once a minute does seem extreme. Using chaperones for breast exams seems a fine idea, but it does make situations awkward. "The social dimension turns out to be as essential as the scientific," Gawande writes—a conclusion that could serve as a thumbnail summary of his entire output. The heart of the book are the chapters "What Doctors Owe," about the U.S.'s blinkered malpractice system, and "Piecework," about what doctors earn. Cheerier, paradoxically, are the chapters involving polio and cystic fibrosis, featuring Dr. Pankaj Bhatnagar and Dr. Warren Warwick, two remarkable men who have been able to catapult their humanity into their work rather than constantly stumble over it. Indeed, one suspects that once we cure the ills of the health care system, we'll look back and see that Gawande's writings were part of the story. (Apr.)
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A surgeon at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Atul Gawande succeeds in putting a human face on controversial topics like malpractice and global disparities in medical care, while taking an unflinching look at his own failings as a doctor. Critics appreciated his candor, his sly sense of humor, and his skill in examining difficult issues from many perspectives. He conveys his messagethat doctors are only human and therefore must always be diligent and resourceful in fulfilling their dutiesin clear, confident prose. Most critics' only complaint was that half of the essays are reprints of earlier articles. Gawande's arguments, by turns inspiring and unsettling, may cause you to see your own doctor in a whole new light.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.See all Editorial Reviews
Not his strongest work, but still rates 5 stars. We do a lot of complicated work in the test aviation field and Dr Gawande's insights are widely applicable to the life/death... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Lyle Chamberlain
I like it and i like the packaging too
great book and an amazing novel from an amazing author
From one surgeon to another, I appreciate Dr. Gawande's sharing his knowledge!Published 10 days ago by Bruce Jay Ballon
Very well devised. Atul Gawande explores improvements in performance, ethics and morals in an enticing way. His commentary is very thought provoking.Published 14 days ago by Meghan Turk
Great book for anyone in the medical field of students who are studying pre-med in college.Published 21 days ago by CB
Read the book over a weekend. Easy to read, interesting and insightful.Published 1 month ago by Simona Jones
Powerful, engaging, thoughtful, addictive. It will certainly change how I look at my work and my life. Thanks Atul Gawande.Published 1 month ago by Hariz
I read all Dr. Gawande's books one after another. They read like very captivating novels. He is amazing and I hope he writes many more. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Brenda Young