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Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance Hardcover – April 3 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 818 ratings

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Product details

  • Item Weight : 363 g
  • Hardcover : 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780805082111
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0805082111
  • Product Dimensions : 14.4 x 2.59 x 21.79 cm
  • Publisher : Metropolitan Books (April 3 2007)
  • Language: : English
  • ASIN : 0805082115
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 818 ratings

Product description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Surgeon and MacArthur fellow Gawande applies his gift for dulcet prose to medical and ethical dilemmas in this collection of 12 original and previously published essays adapted from the New England Journal of Medicine and the New Yorker. If his 2002 collection, Complications, addressed the unfathomable intractability of the body, this is largely about how we erect barriers to seamless and thorough care. Doctors know they should wash their hands more often to avoid bacterial transfer in the ward, but once a minute does seem extreme. Using chaperones for breast exams seems a fine idea, but it does make situations awkward. "The social dimension turns out to be as essential as the scientific," Gawande writes—a conclusion that could serve as a thumbnail summary of his entire output. The heart of the book are the chapters "What Doctors Owe," about the U.S.'s blinkered malpractice system, and "Piecework," about what doctors earn. Cheerier, paradoxically, are the chapters involving polio and cystic fibrosis, featuring Dr. Pankaj Bhatnagar and Dr. Warren Warwick, two remarkable men who have been able to catapult their humanity into their work rather than constantly stumble over it. Indeed, one suspects that once we cure the ills of the health care system, we'll look back and see that Gawande's writings were part of the story. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Quick. What mundane practice, regularly propagated by generations of moms, could save the lives of thousands of hospital patients? To Brigham & Women's Hospital general surgeon and New Yorker staff writer Gawande, that question's answer is but one way to improve a profession where a "C+" performance rating just isn't good enough. The follow-up to Gawande's critically acclaimed Complications (2002) is a sparkling collection of essays about medical professionals and places where "better" either has or is becoming the norm, where excellence is a journey rather than a destination. While acknowledging that varying levels of achievement are inevitable in any human endeavor, Gawande believes the medical profession must assume the burden of constant diligence to do better because lives hang in the balance. Rather than preaching about improving performance, Gawande bears witness to the remarkable levels of care that can be achieved by describing some incredibly innovative, adaptive, and even mundane (e.g., conscientious hand washing) practices in hospitals from Boston to the rural Indian village of Uti, from Pittsburgh to Iraqi battlefields. Donna Chavez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
818 global ratings
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Top reviews from Canada

Reviewed in Canada on January 28, 2014
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Reviewed in Canada on December 18, 2017
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Reviewed in Canada on December 28, 2016
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Top reviews from other countries

Leitir
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone who cares about supporting enhanced professionalism for the greater good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 27, 2015
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8 people found this helpful
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William Jordan
3.0 out of 5 stars well-written reflections on medicine and doctors, often of much interest
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 15, 2016
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4 people found this helpful
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Ann Gleeson
5.0 out of 5 stars Atul Gawande is superlative writing on medical practice and ethics ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 19, 2017
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Eddy Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book by Atul Gawande
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 27, 2020
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RW
3.0 out of 5 stars So So
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 16, 2015
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4 people found this helpful
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