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Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

Atul Gawande

4 Reviews

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Medicine: general issues

The bestselling author of Complications reveals what you need to be a great surgeon - and shows how everyone can improve at what they do

The struggle to perform well is universal, but nowhere is this drive to do better more important than in medicine. In his new book, Atul Gawande explores how doctors strive to close the gap between best intentions and best performance in the face of obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable.

His vivid stories take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, to a polio outbreak in India and to malpractice courtrooms around the country. He discusses the ethical dilemmas of doctors' participation in lethal injections, examines the influence of money on modern medicine and recounts the astoundingly contentious history of hand-washing. Finally, he gives a brutally honest insight into life as a practising surgeon.

Unflinching but compassionate, Gawande's investigation into medical professionals and their progression from good to great provides a detailed blueprint for success that can be used by everyone.

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Praise for Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

  • 'I found I had been gripping the book so hard that my fingers hurt ... it calls to mind one of the great classics of medical literature, Mikhail Bulgakov's A Country Doctor's Notebook. Few modern authors can stand that comparison, but Gawande can.' - Sunday Times

  • 'A fascinating study.' - Irish Tatler

  • 'This wise and often profound book should be an inspiration to doctors all over the world' - Sunday Times

  • 'His book is riveting: packed with insights, its luminous prose lifting effortlessly off the page ... It is essential reading for doctors and should be handed out with the antibiotics to all users of the NHS. It has already been described as a modern masterpiece - and so it is.' - Independent

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