Complications

Complications

A Surgeon's Notes on An Imperfect Science

Book - 2002
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A brilliant and courageous doctor reveals, in gripping accounts of true cases, the power and limits of modern medicine.

Sometimes in medicine the only way to know what is truly going on in a patient is to operate, to look inside with one's own eyes. This book is exploratory surgery on medicine itself, laying bare a science not in its idealized form but as it actually is -- complicated, perplexing, and profoundly human.

Atul Gawande offers an unflinching view from the scalpel's edge, where science is ambiguous, information is limited, the stakes are high, yet decisions must be made. In dramatic and revealing stories of patients and doctors, he explores how deadly mistakes occur and why good surgeons go bad. He also shows us what happens when medicine comes up against the inexplicable: an architect with incapacitating back pain for which there is no physical cause; a young woman with nausea that won't go away; a television newscaster whose blushing is so severe that she cannot do her job. Gawande offers a richly detailed portrait of the people and the science, even as he tackles the paradoxes and imperfections inherent in caring for human lives.

At once tough-minded and humane, Complications is a new kind of medical writing, nuanced and lucid, unafraid to confront the conflicts and uncertainties that lie at the heart of modern medicine, yet always alive to the possibilities of wisdom in this extraordinary endeavor.

Complications is a 2002 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction.

Publisher: New York : Metropolitan Books, 2002
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780805063196
0805063196
Branch Call Number: 617.092 GAW 2002
Characteristics: x, 269 p.0805063196

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b
becker
Sep 02, 2016

This is a very readable, very interesting book written by a surgeon. Each chapter features a different case study where he describes what it is like from the doctor's perspective to face the challenges of diagnosing and treating each new patient. A good book to pick up and read in smaller sections when you find time.

kelleypoole Aug 19, 2012

Excellent reading - the author captures the very essence of both the patient's experience and the surgeon's. He thorough explores the difficulties, challenges, and rewards of medicine by unveiling the details of real life cases, even following up much later with patients he has treated or studied. If you enjoy medical information, this is such a delicious read you won't want to put it down!

susanitat Jan 26, 2012

amazing book. Everybody should read it!! It gives you a different point of view of what medicine is in reality, a very complex world but human indeed.

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lisastitch
Apr 02, 2010

Gawande makes it very clear why medicine is an art, not a science--and how much we still don't know, despite how much we've learned. Highly recommended.

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kelleypoole Aug 19, 2012

kelleypoole thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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