Gawande, Atul. Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes On An Imperfect Science. Read by William David Griffith. Audio Renaissance: Picador, 1995.
You expect medicine to be a hard and fast science. Is versus Isn’t. Black and white. Cut and dried. Science simple as that. It is hard to imagine medicine as fuzzy, as imperfect and wishy-washy as gray area, but it is. Gawande doesn’t apologize for this less-than-exact science. He is pragmatic in his approach – sometimes doctors get it right and well, sometimes they don’t. The essays in Complications are scary and humbling. You hear about real cases. Real patients. Everyday people with seemingly normal lives. Your neighbor. You. Then you hear about the scary stuff. Medical mistakes. Doctors deferring decisions to patients. Surgeons operating with their hearts more than their minds…it happens. As hard as some of the information was to digest it was eye opening and a necessary truth.
Reason read: November is supposed to be National Health Month. Maybe that’s why I have two physical exams scheduled for this month!
Author fact: According to the back of the CD case Atul Gawande is a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
Book CD trivia: I inadvertently listened to the abridged version of the book. Dammit.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “Physicians Writing More Thank Prescriptions” (p 185).