Metropolitan Books, April 2007
The bestselling author of Complications examines, in riveting accounts of medical failure and triumph, how success is achieved in a complex and risk-filled profession.
The struggle to perform well is universal: each of us faces fatigue, limited resources, and imperfect abilities in whatever we do. But nowhere is the drive to do better more important than in medicine, where lives may be on the line with every decision. In his new book, Atul Gawande explores how doctors strive to close the gap between best intentions and actual performance in the face of obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable.
Gawande's gripping stories of diligence, ingenuity, and what it means to do right by people take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, labor and delivery rooms in Boston, a polio outbreak in India, and 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. And as in all his writing, Gawande gives us an inside look at his own life as a surgeon, offering a searingly honest firsthand account of work in a field where mistakes are both unavoidable and unthinkable.
At once unflinching and compassionate, Better is an exhilarating journey narrated by "a writer with a scalpel pen and an X-ray eye" (Time). Gawande's investigation into medical professionals and how they progress from good to great provides rare insight into the elements of success, illuminating every area of human endeavor.
hardcover | ISBN: 9780805082111 | Publication Date: April 2007
"Better is a masterpiece, a series of stories set inside the four walls of a hospital that end up telling us something unforgettable about the world outside."
--Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink
"Better is a mesmerizing book with fascinations on
every page, told with mastery, insight, compassion, and humility by a surgeon
who doesn't flinch from taboo subjects or self-examination. His topics range
from the invisible to the unspeakable, and some chapters are exciting medical
mysteries. On every page, one meets a candid and thoughtful man, who pays close
attention, and who somehow manages to find the right balance between intimacy
and respectfulness, in a world that can be inhospitable to both."
--Diane Ackerman, author of An Alchemy of Mind
"It's hard to think of a writer working today who makes
such good use of a man's quest to avoid pain and death. Atul Gawande is not only
adding to the small shelf of books by doctors that every layman should read.
He's using medicine to help anyone who hopes to do anything better."
--Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side