Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

Stop staring.  Go read.
by Atul Gawande | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 0312427654 Global Overview for this book
Registered by quietorchid of Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on 6/20/2014
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by quietorchid from Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on Friday, June 20, 2014
Gawande is looking at how Doctors can be better 'positive deviants'. In other words, what is it that makes some work on the 'better' side of the bell curve. Some interesting stuff in here, particuliarly on advances in battlefield operations, and how Cystic Fibrosis can be better managed with relentless micromanaging.

He is both a surgeon, and a good writer.

Fly far little book!

Journal Entry 2 by quietorchid at Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on Saturday, February 14, 2015

Released 4 yrs ago (2/14/2015 UTC) at Saint Paul, Minnesota USA

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Put in the Medicine Chest V Bookbox.

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Journal Entry 3 by wingAzukiwing at Miami, Florida USA on Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Glad to see this in the box, just want to say that it's an excellent book. It's not often to find a non-fiction that reads like the best fiction, but this book totally does it, keep you flipping page after page.
Highly recommended!

Journal Entry 4 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, June 28, 2015
I've already read this one, so I'll leave it in the box for someone else, but I wanted to add my comments as it's such a good book. (I also enjoyed - and cringed at - Gawande's first book, Complications.)

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...

Journal Entry 5 by debnance at Alvin, Texas USA on Saturday, September 05, 2015
Our book club just read Gawande's most recent book. I thought I'd pull this from the bookbox and share it with our book club the next time we meet.

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