Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance
4 journalers for this copy...
He is both a surgeon, and a good writer.
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This is definitely a worthwhile read! The early emphasis on diligence is something that too many people never seem to get... and that applies to patients as well as medical professionals. I appreciated the many examples and case histories, and was frustrated by the times that a good idea - a demonstrably better technique - was accepted slowly if at all, for no good reason.
There are touchy issues here, from malpractice lawsuits to questions of impropriety during physical exams to the involvement of medical professionals in capital punishment - wide-ranging discussions. The section on when to fight and when to stop - with the use of do-not-resuscitate orders, etc. - was the one that seems most significant to me, as it's the one I'm most likely to run into, either for family members or for myself...
The author's suggestions at the end are worth noting: "Ask an unscripted question." In the doctor-patient context this can get you out of the exam-rut, and may produce useful info. "Don't complain." Easier said than done, and sometimes we need to vent to somebody, but his point is that constantly griping can result in bad moods and, possibly, more mistakes. "Count something." I liked this one, as it calls back to the many people - amateurs as well as scientists - who simply began observing something, whether a job-related concern or the number of nesting birds in a copse of fir trees in winter, and who wound up improving a work-practice or adding to the sum of knowledge.
The final suggestions: "Write something" and "Change". The writing makes sense to me, as I find it entertaining, soothing, helpful, and sometimes very enlightening - but I don't know if it would work as well for everybody. As for change - given the premise of the book, this one's vital...