Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance Hardcover – April 3, 2007
|New from||Used from|
Springer Blue Sale in medicine
Save up to 40% on medical textbooks and resources.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The most moving and thought-provoking of these essays, to me, was "The Doctors of the Death Chamber," in which Gawande interviews four doctors (whom he labels "A," "B," "C" and -- wait for it -- "D," in order to secure their anonymity) who help states carry out the death penalty humanely. The use of "humanely" here is questionable; it's humane in the sense that, if we are to use the death penalty, we must not be needlessly cruel at the time of the criminal's death. But it's inhumane in the larger sense that we are furthering a corrupt system -- we are "tinker[ing] with the machinery of death," to use Justice Blackmun's words. Since a doctor's role is to protect human lives, are anaesthesiologists who help execute people painlessly violating their roles? To put it more succinctly: should a doctor make the best of the machinery of death, or should he take no part in the machine? The American Medical Association has its answer and its role.Read more ›
In a section of his book, entitled "The Mop-Up," Gawande discusses polio and the campaign to wipe it out in Asia wherein he was a momentary observer in the field in 2003. Way back in ancient history, when I was a mere child in the 1940s and America was hit with a polio epidemic, I was diagnosed with polio and almost died. Hence the relevance here for me. But more than that, I am convinced to this day that I was "saved" because of the efforts of a nurse -- I'm sure she was one of Gawande's "positive deviants" which he describes in his book -- who insisted on treating me and others with a controversial treatment (opposed by most of the medical "establishment" at the time) called "The Sister Kenny Method." She never lost a patient, by the way; we all recovered without any significant aftereffects that I know of.Read more ›
Some of his essays may appeal more to you than others but I urge you to read the entire book, as well as to get his other one, Complications. I've read medical memoirs that put me to sleep and have been baffled by how someone could take life and death situations and turn them into dry writing. This isn't the case here and you'll come away from the book with a stronger understanding of all the factors (and possible solutions) that make up the world of medicine, medical ethics and patient care today.
But this book also offers you great lessons if you want to understand how science and performance management come together as they should in business or any other field of endeavor. That's because the author sets out to answer a question that is as important for people in business as it is for people in medicine.
What does it take to be good at something when it is so easy not to be?
Gawande ways that most people, especially physicians, think that success in medicine comes from canny diagnosis, technical prowess and the ability to empathize. They think that progress in medicine comes from scientific breakthroughs and sophisticated equipment and procedures.
The reality, though, is quote different. Improved performance, according to Gawande, comes from
Again and again Gawande demonstrates how concentrating on patients and on performance leads to improvement for both individuals and for medical practice in general. He does this with a mix of historical examples, patient stories, statistics and stories from his own life and practice.
He divides the book into three sections corresponding to his three necessities for improvement.
In the section on Diligence the chapters are on washing hands, dealing with polio in India, and dealing with casualties from the Iraq war. The chapter on military medicine and the concentration on process improvement is worth the price of the book if you're in business.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love anything and everything written by the author! Wonderful writer and such an interesting perspective. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Shop Girl
I like it a lot! Not scary although it can be if you like to put your head in the sand! This doctor/writer/researcher is phenomenal!Published 13 days ago by A Searcher of Life
This is one of several Gawande books I purchased. I enjoy reading about medical cases. This doctor writes well and keeps the reader entertained and informed. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Ellen Schaefer
From an ex-doctor-turned-malpractice lawyer to the eradication of polio in India, this book amazes. The final chapter delineates small-town Indian surgeons inventing both... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Millicent Hughes
A must read for all who work in medicine, or for anyone interested in improving. I can't say enough about this, or any of, Dr. Gawande's incredible books.Published 1 month ago by Paul Cozart
I never would have read this if it hadn't been my book club book this month. My husband is an oncologist, and I am a social psychologist. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Francis