Atul Gawande offers an unflinching view from the scalpel's edge, where science is ambiguous, information is limited, the stakes are high, yet decisions must be made. In dramatic and revealing stories of patients and doctors, he explores how deadly mistakes occur, why good surgeons go bad. He shows what happens when medicine comes up against the inexplicable: an architect with incapacitating back pain for which there is no physical cause; a young woman with nausea that won't go away; a television newscaster whose blushing is so severe that she cannot do her job. Gawande also ponders the human factor that makes saving lives possible.
At once tough-minded and humane, Complications is a new kind of medical writing, nuanced and lucid, unafraid to confront the conflicts and uncertainties that lie at the heart of modern medicine, yet always alive to the possibilities of wisdom in this extraordinary endeavor.
©2002 Atul Gawande (P)2003 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"Gawande's sharp eye, crisp prose, and insightful understanding make his book as enjoyable as it is edifying." (Los Angeles Times )
"Diagnosis: riveting." (Time)
"These exquisitely crafted essays, in which medical subjects segue into explorations of much larger themes, place Gawande among the best in the field." (Publishers Weekly)
52, retired soldier and surgeon. Teach Combat Surgery and Military History and hold the rank of Brigadier. Lost wife, love dogs, ski to fast
Its in the top 10 and I have 100's. I does make the medical profession look human. As a Dr my self I found it so revealing. It visited feelings and concerns I had not looked at for 20 years or more. Its well written, well narrated and a moving account of how difficult being a Dr actually is. Well recommended.
WOW! What a great book and really informative! I am a firm believer in informed consent when planning on surgery. This is a must read/listen for any patient or health provider. Let's be honest, it can't all fall on the service provder's shoulders, we also need to take some responsibility for our own health. By working together with our service provider, we can be much more likely to reach our goals. This book allows us to be informed of what could happen so that we can learn how to avoid unnecessary complications.
Interested in medicine? Do you wonder what doctors are really like? Then you should enjoy this book. It covers medical ethics, medical mistakes, abuse, and more. Highly recommended. I enjoyed it from begining to end. You will enjoy it.
This was the best book I have listened to in my last year as an Audible Member. I am a pre-medical student, and listening to Dr. Gawande's excellent storytelling absolutely captivated me. I have listened to this book about three times total now. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the often mysterious world of medicine and surgery.
Wonderful! If you are familiar with science and the uncertainties of real life research (and practice) as opposed to the text book models of "scientific process", this book won't come as a shock. It is a brilliant exploration of the uncertainties in the science of medicine and the impact that human beings, with their frailties and their brilliant insights, have on a medicine. While I must admit it leaves me somewhat more nervous about major medical procedures, if more people understood medicine as presented here, we would probably not be plagued with so many law suits, the resultant high malpractice insurance fees and the final result of high cost health care. At the same time, if some of the insights presented in this book were translated into new systems and practices in the medical field, we probably would also not have so much human error to begin with. A great listen I recommend highly.
Written with both emotion and objectivity, Complications is a fascinating look at the practice of modern medicine. Through actual case histories, Gawande marvels over the successes and admits the shortcomings of today's doctors, attempting all the while to explain that they are merely human beings, capable of faults but trying, often selflessly, to reduce the suffering of other human beings. Probably best for the science-savvy, or at least the 'ER' crowd, as it is rife with clinical explanations which, though excellent and accessible, may bore the average reader. Inspiring and humbling. (I am, by the way, neither a doctor nor a relative of one.)
I am a 27 year old nurse pursuing a nurse practitioner degree. My favorite book genres are: fantasy, science fiction, medicine and sociology
An interesting perspective on how we are all human, and the sort of subjective factors that impact surgeons and doctors on a daily basis. This was a very quick listen for me. I found it well written, peppered with humor as well as touching human perspective. I recommend it to those working in the medical profession as well as anyone interested in gaining some insight on the challenges that physicians face on a regular basis. While nobody likes to be the patient that ends up the one the doctor makes a bad judgment call on, it is inevitable, there is no perfect human being and nobody performs without error in ANY profession. The pressure is high and medicine is very tricky, and I feel books like this one help warm people's hearts and break down their ignorance. Perhaps it can help reduce the knee jerk reactions of those who are quick to judge doctors harshly or immediately want to sue over medical errors or judgment calls made in tense, critical moments of life and death.
Yes. This book humanizes doctors and demystifies medicine, revealing its errors without provoking fear. Maybe it's paradoxical, but calling into question medicine's perfectibility is actually kind of empowering because it means we can't let doctors bear all the responsibility for a well-functioning health care system -- we have to look at the whole ecosystem of hospitals and managed care to understand why things go wrong, and then take part in improving the situation. Gawande densely layers interesting anecdotes and interweaves medical marvels with ordinary human experiences -- particularly those of patients. Despite being nominally autobiographical, this isn't a compendium of war stories. Gawande is balanced, self-aware and, surprisingly for someone so successful in the mainstream, not self-aggrandizing. He only involves himself to the extent necessary to round out the anecdotes.
The book loses focus towards the end and does start to feel a little like an anthology of stories and/or essays, and I'm not sure the overall thesis is well sustained, but so far it's the best thing I've read on the practice of modern medicine.
His account of the congress of American surgeons was funny and poignant. He clearly has a goofy sense of humour and an anthropologist's eye for professional culture -- the good and the bad. This was one of the moments that did the most for me in humanizing surgeons without making them look foolish or, worse, inept.
His narration was pretty good. He mispronounces stuff from time to time which can be a little distracting, but overall he was pleasant enough to listen to.
Not really. There's no storyline or protagonist, and it jumps around in time a lot.
This is a fabulous book for anyone with an interest in medicine. I greatly admire Dr. Gawande's candor in providing this fascinating, behind the scenes account of doctors and patients. I listen to books when I drive and there were a number of evenings when I just sat in my driveway because I couldn't put this book down.
My only criticism is not about the story but the Audible.com use of random music throughout. There is annoying piano music at various places - not apparently tied to new topic areas or chapters. I found it distracting and irritating.
"Surprising and shocking insights"
This was a very well written book with some interesting, surprising and shocking insights into the medical industry. One thing Gawande makes very clear throughout the book: doctors are human and thus as fatally flawed as the rest of us! His use of real cases is underpinned by something more striking: his knowledge of his patients as people beyond the hospital. He is not afraid to speak against his peers and admit that there are failings in the medical system itself and with individuals and that there are mistakes made that shouldn't be.
Far from leaving me reticent about ever seeing a doctor again, I applaud Gawande's plain speaking and honest admissions. Sadly, we all make mistakes and this is a profession in which mistakes can be both epic and tragic; however, perhaps the bigger tragedy is that fear of being sued for simply doing one's job to the best of one's ability but making a rare error is enough to prevent full open and frank discussion with colleagues and the patients' families to ensure that such mistakes are more easily avoided in the future.
In a world of 'Where there's blame, there's a claim' mentality, shouldn't we be assigning some blame to 'ambulance chasers' whose willingness to destroy someone's reputation and perhaps career for the sake of making money could deprive a hospital - and society - of another competent, well-skilled doctor. Not only that but they make it practically impossible for doctors to learn from the errors of others, so great is the fear of admitting 'I made a mistake'.
"Excellent, thought provoking"
An excellent review which, as an ex surgeon struck a real chord with me. Examines with stark honesty the strengths and failings of a medical career based around cases he has followed. Great insight, real honesty and ultimately a warming and thoroughly human story. Read it.
I am a senior surgical trainee in the UK. This is an excellent audiobook. Well written and narrated. Highly recommended for all.
"Great insight in to the mind of a doctor."
A great insight into the dilemmas of medicine and how medicine is an art and a science at the same time. Of interest to any doctor.
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