Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

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Macmillan, Jan 22, 2008 - Health & Fitness - 273 pages
30 Reviews
The struggle to perform well is universal: each of us faces fatigue, limited resources, and imperfect abilities in whatever we do. But nowhere is this drive to do better more important than in medicine, where lives are on the line with every decision. Author Gawande explores how doctors strive to close the gap between best intentions and best performance in the face of obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable. Gawande's stories take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, to labor and delivery rooms in Boston, to a polio outbreak in India, and to malpractice courtrooms around the country. He discusses the ethical dilemma of lethal injections, examines the influence of money on modern medicine, and recounts the contentious history of hand washing. And he gives us an inside look at his own life as a practicing surgeon, offering a firsthand account of a field where mistakes are both unavoidable and unthinkable.--From publisher description.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - weird_O - LibraryThing

[Better] is a collection of articles written and published in The New Yorker and in The New England Journal of Medicine. All were published before 2007, since that was when the book first appeared ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kaulsu - LibraryThing

I enjoyed Better almost as much as I did [Being Mortal]. In this book, Gawande discusses what it is that make some doctors and some hospital programs better than others. Why hand washing--so important ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

ON WASHING HANDS
13
THE MOPUP
29
CASUALTIES OF WAR
51
Doing Right
71
NAKED
73
WHAT DOCTORS OWE
84
PIECEWORK
112
THE DOCTORS OF THE DEATH CHAMBER
130
Ingenuity
167
THE SCORE
169
THE BELL CURVE
201
FOR PERFORMANCE
231
SUGGESTIONS FOR BECOMING A POSITIVE DEVIANT
249
NOTES ON SOURCES
259
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
271
Copyright

ON FIGHTING
154

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About the author (2008)

Atul Gawande, a 2006 MacArthur Fellow, is a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. His first book, Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science, was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the 2002 National Book Award. Gawande lives with his wife and three children in Newton, Massachusetts.

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