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Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance | [Atul Gawande]

Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

Atul Gawande explores how doctors strive for best performance in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. His stories of diligence and ingenuity 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 dilemmas of doctors' participation in lethal injections, examines the influence of money on medicine, and recounts the astoundingly contentious history of hand washing.
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Publisher's Summary

The struggle to perform well is universal: each one 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. In his new audiobook, 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.

Gawande's gripping stories of diligence, ingenuity, and what it means to do right by people 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 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 practicing 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 arguably the best nonfiction doctor-writer around. Gawande's investigation into medical professionals and how they progress from merely good to great provides rare insight into the elements of success, illuminating every area of human endeavor.

©2007 Atul Gawande; (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Surgeon and MacArthur fellow Gawande applies his gift for dulcet prose to medical and ethical dilemmas in this collection." (Publishers Weekly)
"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 and The Tipping Point)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (442 )
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4.4 (166 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Monty Gumble 03-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    1
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    "would not suggest"

    i struggled to finish the book. Just a poor story in general and would not suggest

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Leung 03-24-15
    Karen Leung 03-24-15
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    1
    1
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    "Better is inspirational"

    This book gave me a lot of insights. I have discussed ideas from this book with my boss and she loves them. Also the narrator is great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamey 03-23-15
    Jamey 03-23-15
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    2
    1
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    Story
    "Choppy"

    It jumped around and didn't seem to have any connecting idea. Complications was much better. He basically just talks about different people in medicine that are doing good things.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tara Kunkel GREENFIELD, IN, US 12-11-12
    Tara Kunkel GREENFIELD, IN, US 12-11-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Listening and Thinking"

    This was a wonderful book that touched controversial as well as mundane problems in healthcare. All beautifully narrated into a great story. I found myself driving more so that I could keep listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph NEW YORK, NY, United States 07-16-12
    Joseph NEW YORK, NY, United States 07-16-12 Member Since 2014
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    8
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    "Will likely help change the face of medicine"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Better to be better than the print version?

    No


    What other book might you compare Better to and why?

    Checklist Manifesto


    What does John Bedford Lloyd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I think if I heard him speak again, I would think he's Atul Gawande


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Atul Gawande rocks the medical world.


    Any additional comments?

    I love the way he thinks, and challenges those in health care.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tomeka Buford, GA, USA 07-12-10
    Tomeka Buford, GA, USA 07-12-10
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    REVIEWS
    1
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    "Good points just took a long-time to make them..."

    This book definitely has a strong concept to a very simplistic thought "Better". Very empowering book but I felt the author took a long medical approach on displaying the principles. This took away the simplicity necessary to grasp the concept. The concept applies to everyone regardless of profession and that could have been better exhibited.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rose Boulder Creek, CA, USA 10-28-07
    Rose Boulder Creek, CA, USA 10-28-07
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    "Inspiring"

    As a pre-med student, this was a treasure. Even for the general public, this text has some truly remarkable messages and information.

    Some sections are a little number-heavy, but the core is well worth it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aviad Glenview, IL, USA 07-04-07
    Aviad Glenview, IL, USA 07-04-07
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    "Deceptively Broadly Applicable"

    This book is well written and the narrator does an excellent job, as well.

    The author uses first-hand experiences as simple and clear examples in a journey to improve one's performance, the efficiency of one's organization, or to just plain make the world a better place.

    Insightful, captivating, and thoughtful.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda WHITE PLAINS, NY, USA 07-23-07
    Linda WHITE PLAINS, NY, USA 07-23-07 Member Since 2014
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    "Good, Better, BEST!!"

    Really one of the finest books about Healthcare and Healthcare Quality I have ever read. Gawande takes us into the mind of the scientist and helps us to better understand the calling to constantly push the envelope no matter what your job in Healthcare may be. Highly recommend for every healthcare worker and patient!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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