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Over the past decade, through his writing in The New Yorker magazine and his books Complications and Better, Atul Gawande has made a name for himself as a writer of exquisitely crafted meditations on the problems and challenges of modern medicine. His latest book, The Checklist Manifesto, begins on familiar ground, with his experiences as a surgeon. But before long it becomes clear that he is really interested in a problem that afflicts virtually every aspect of the modern world--and that is how professionals deal with the increasing complexity of their responsibilities. It has been years since I read a book so powerful and so thought-provoking.
Gawande begins by making a distinction between errors of ignorance (mistakes we make because we don't know enough), and errors of ineptitude (mistakes we made because we don’t make proper use of what we know). Failure in the modern world, he writes, is really about the second of these errors, and he walks us through a series of examples from medicine showing how the routine tasks of surgeons have now become so incredibly complicated that mistakes of one kind or another are virtually inevitable: it's just too easy for an otherwise competent doctor to miss a step, or forget to ask a key question or, in the stress and pressure of the moment, to fail to plan properly for every eventuality. Gawande then visits with pilots and the people who build skyscrapers and comes back with a solution. Experts need checklists--literally--written guides that walk them through the key steps in any complex procedure. In the last section of the book, Gawande shows how his research team has taken this idea, developed a safe surgery checklist, and applied it around the world, with staggering success.
The danger, in a review as short as this, is that it makes Gawande’s book seem narrow in focus or prosaic in its conclusions. It is neither. Gawande is a gorgeous writer and storyteller, and the aims of this book are ambitious. Gawande thinks that the modern world requires us to revisit what we mean by expertise: that experts need help, and that progress depends on experts having the humility to concede that they need help. --Malcolm Gladwell
Was recommended to me; wouldn't buy it again, but has some useful points. In general, though, LOVE his writing. Thought-provoking and timely, important reading for all.Published 1 day ago by sarah bartlett
Excellent concept - but a wordy, difficult book to read. Entire process could have been greatly simplified and explained.Published 1 day ago by pooleside
Checklists for surgery seem so obviously valuable in medical field, I'd assume they'd be SOP. Except, as Atul Gawande notes, studies have shown there's so often 17-year delay... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Tom Graham
Excellent book, easy to read and to the point. Everyone should be able to take some benefit from this insightful book. I'm off to make some checklists!!Published 4 days ago by Jason
Probably great for those more involved in the medical profession.
I found it to be well written, but I was not interested.
Dr. Gawande deliver in an elegant way, how a simple check list can help tremendously any process improvement program. Read morePublished 15 days ago by jose f. pena