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Publisher Description


The New York Times bestselling 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.

Professional & Technical
January 22
Henry Holt and Co.

Customer Reviews

RyanJelinek ,

Engaging, thought provoking

Such a fast, and interesting read. A must read for those in the medical field, and a should read for everyone who is not.

Umichsph ,

Fantastic Read

I had to read this book for my school orientation. As far as summer reading goes, this has been the most engrossing, interesting and eye opening. Incredibly well written with a style akin to Gladwell, Atul makes every story come to life. The need for change not only in our medical system but in those around the world is made obvious with this book.

Taiwantraveler ,

Interesting Read

I loved this book! The author writes beautifully and kept the book interesting through its various topics. I needed a book to read on my 5 hour flight and I saw this in an airport newstand. I'm so glad I bought this book instead of some magazine. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of the author's books. Highly recommended!

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