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.