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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
Great checklist promotion book, but lacks checklist design techniquePublished 9 hours ago by Dmitry
Liked the book. Makes it clear that even complex issues can be addressed by systematic approaches. Makes you think of new applications.Published 4 days ago by Scott C. Mcmullen
I found the book fascinating and enjoyable. I think the actual content about how to put a checklist together is not more than half a page worth but the rest is enjoyable and... Read morePublished 5 days ago by N. Keating
Entertaining and thought provoking.
Easy to read - prompted me to read the author's other books.
A documented process which we are applying to our business today.Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is an interesting and useful concept, but in its current incarnation more so for circumstances outside the realm of the majority of readers. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Hans Ruppel
I hope to incorporate this in the next Nursing Leadership class I teach. Insightful, respectful of the team and all it's members, willing to admit mistakes happen but many are... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Susan C. Wirt
Dr Gawande details the tremendous benefit to critically looking at our own performance and it's impacts. A testament to teamwork, communication and humility and such a great read!Published 11 days ago by Linell McCray