Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

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9780312421700: Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

In gripping accounts of true cases, surgeon Atul Gawande explores the power and the limits of medicine, offering an unflinching view from the scalpel's edge. Complications lays bare a science not in its idealized form but as it actually is―uncertain, perplexing, and profoundly human.

Complications is a 2002 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction.

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Review:

Gently dismantling the myth of medical infallibility, Dr. Atul Gawande's Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science is essential reading for anyone involved in medicine--on either end of the stethoscope. Medical professionals make mistakes, learn on the job, and improvise much of their technique and self-confidence. Gawande's tales are humane and passionate reminders that doctors are people, too. His prose is thoughtful and deeply engaging, shifting from sometimes painful stories of suffering patients (including his own child) to intriguing suggestions for improving medicine with the same care he expresses in the surgical theater. Some of his ideas will make health care providers nervous or even angry, but his disarming style, confessional tone, and thoughtful arguments should win over most readers. Complications is a book with heart and an excellent bedside manner, celebrating rather than berating doctors for being merely human. --Rob Lightner

About the Author:

Atul Gawande is a surgical resident at a hospital in Boston and a staff writer on medicine and science for The New Yorker. A graduate of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, he has had his writing selected to appear in The Best American Essays 2002. Gawande lives with his wife and three children in Newton, Massachusetts.

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