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Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

Unabridged Audio Book

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John Bedford Lloyd

7 Hours 34 Minutes

Macmillan Audio

April 2007

Audio Book Summary

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 his new 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 take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, to delivery rooms in Boston, to a polio outbreak in India, and to malpractice courtrooms around the country. He examines the ethical dilemmas of doctors' participation in lethal injections, the influence of money on modern medicine, and the astoundingly contentious history of hand-washing. Offering a searingly honest first-hand account of work in a field where mistakes are both unavoidable and unthinkable, Better provides rare insight into the elements of success that illuminates every area of human endeavor.

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  • ann j

    Great book. Highly recommend it for everyone no matter there profession. It's really opened up my eyes to the misconception people have about doctors and the health care system.

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  • Andy Clark

    Awesome book! I read this book as a assigned reading for my masters degree, and I am so glad to have read it. I have worked in healthcare for 11 years now and this book gave me a new perspective and made me think of things differently. Every physician, nurse, and administrator should read this book. Truly loved it.

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  • Jennifer Stroh

    A great account of real life trials a doctor faces!

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  • Deby Buchness

    A very worthwhile listen! Clear, neutral narration and fascinating topics. As a former premed student who was interested in surgery, this book really engaged me. It illuminated difficult questions with a wide array of stories and first hand experience. I found it very cool how many facts Gawande used which made his perspective oscillate between strongly objective and highly personal. At times I got a bit lost while on the train, but quickly re-engaged when a new nugget of incredible information was revealed. Really enjoyed it!

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