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Customer Review

on 19 January 2003
Dr Gawande has produced in 'Complications' an intriguing and absorbing text. This exploration of medicine reveals to the reader a world of scientific guesswork and intuition, all going on behind the facade of clear-cut clinical practice. As a surgical Resident, Dr Gawande provides the Physicians view - the control that people are willing to give to the doctor, allowing them to inject them with chemicals, perform procedures that could cause more harm if done incorrectly, and in the extreme to assume control of their vital functions. He also as a father conveys the mixed emotions elicited by surrendering ones children to those most capable of saving them.
However, 'complications' goes beyond this, with discussion of the motivation of the medical profession, its attitudes towards conditions that cannot be treated, and the 'gut feelings' rather than hard evidence underlying many diagnoses. Similarly, the attitudes towards medical teaching (wherein doctors learn by doing) are considered from the viewpoints of both doctor and patient, along with how and why doctors make mistakes.
This book must be recommended to anyone with even a slight interest in medicine, particularly those considering entering the medical profession.
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