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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
an excellent, must-read for every professional or professional-in-training. as it turned out, i had 3 non-insignificant surgical procedures and it ab.so.lute. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Hal Carroll
This book makes a clear and convincing argument for the use of checklists to enhance decision-making in a world that is growing increasingly complex. Read morePublished 9 days ago by mikephd80
Captivating read! Enjoyed very minute of it and the content is something that can make a real difference for people.Published 9 days ago by kelly hurst
I was expecting more from this book, especially after I had read some recommendations.
The book has a tendency to focus primarily on the medical sector. Read more
I have always created check lists for everything important, so when this book was suggested by an animal advocacy group I thought "what could I possibly learn? Read morePublished 13 days ago by Barbara Feig
It is a good book, easy to read. It is very narrative and the important concepts can be summarized in a page or two. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Giulio Valerio Moretta