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Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance Paperback – 27 Mar 2008
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I found I had been gripping the book so hard that my fingers hurt ... it calls to mind one of the great classics of medical literature, Mikhail Bulgakov's A Country Doctor's Notebook. Few modern authors can stand that comparison, but Gawande can. (Sunday Times)
A fascinating study. (Irish Tatler)
This wise and often profound book should be an inspiration to doctors all over the world (Sunday Times)
His book is riveting: packed with insights, its luminous prose lifting effortlessly off the page ... It is essential reading for doctors and should be handed out with the antibiotics to all users of the NHS. It has already been described as a modern masterpiece - and so it is. (Independent)
It seems unfair that a surgeon should be able to write so beautifully ... Better is perfect bedside reading - although it might keep you awake - for doctors as well as patients ... All will learn something of value from this infinitely wise and humane surgeon (Daily Mail)
The bestselling author of Complications reveals what you need to be a great surgeon - and shows how everyone can improve at what they doSee all Product description
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Gawande writes very well and no piece lacks interest - thought some hold more interest than others. Coming to this after Being Mortal and The Checklist Manifesto, the book suffers a little by comparison. There's no overarching theme here to match the 'take-aways' from those extended discussions of a single topic. But Gawande's concluding reflections on why he writes - so as not to be just one cog in a machine but engage with the world directly and at scale - make perfect sense. And he certainly succeeds here - it's just that he'll succeed even more later...
I am a fan of his work anyway so was confident I would enjoy this book.
As I work with people who have English as a second language there are often concerns about misunderstandings, I find that I am attracted to books that define terms that we all thought we knew already. They give an insight into the complexity of a topic and remind me that even between native speakers we can interpret what something means differently.
A great read for people wanting to discuss what better means for their work.