• Better

  • A Surgeon's Notes on Performance
  • By: Atul Gawande
  • Narrated by: John Bedford Lloyd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (2,120 ratings)

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Better  By  cover art

Better

By: Atul Gawande
Narrated by: John Bedford Lloyd
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Publisher's summary

National best seller

The New York Times best-selling author of Being Mortal and 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 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 this 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.

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" (Salon). 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

Critic reviews

"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)