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Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science | [Atul Gawande]

Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

Sometimes in medicine the only way to know what is truly going on in a patient is to operate, to look inside with one's own eyes. This book is exploratory surgery on medicine itself, laying bare a science not in its idealized form but as it actually is - complicated, perplexing, and profoundly human.
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Publisher's Summary

Sometimes in medicine the only way to know what is truly going on in a patient is to operate, to look inside with one's own eyes. This book is exploratory surgery on medicine itself, laying bare a science not in its idealized form but as it actually is - complicated, perplexing, and profoundly human.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

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    Suzan Daly City, CA, USA 05-18-03
    Suzan Daly City, CA, USA 05-18-03
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    "Don't Listen To This Before Having Surgery"

    It's disturbing to realize that doctors are usually guessing when they diagnose and treat a patient. According to Dr. Gawande, whether you leave the operating room alive depends more on luck than on the skill of the doc. who's cutting you open. I'm not sure how doctors justify their exhorbitant fees or enormous egos if all they are doing half the time is spitballing. I've had loved ones in the ICU who nearly died because a doctor made an unlucky guess, and listening to this audiobok didn't improve my already jaundiced opinion of the medical profession. As a collection of horror stories "Complications" is mildly interesting, but is bogged down in tiresome detail and medical jargon. The reader has a pleasant voice but lacks conviction in his delivery and tends to drone on and on in a monotone.

    11 of 49 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley Orange, CA, USA 11-14-08
    Bradley Orange, CA, USA 11-14-08
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    "No format.."

    It should be called complications because of his lack of writing style. He's all over the place. Some intresting history in it but that's about all.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
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