Complications

A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

Atul Gawande

Metropolitan Books

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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.

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When you are in the operating room for the first time and see the surgeon press his scalpel to someone's body, you either shudder in horror or gape in awe. I gaped. It wasn't the blood and guts that enthralled me. It was the idea that a mere person would ever have the confidence to wield that scalpel. I wondered how the surgeon knew that all the steps would go as planned, that bleeding would be controlled and organs would not be injured. He didn't, but still he cut.

Later, I was allowed to make an incision myself. The surgeon drew a six-inch dotted line across the patient's abdomen and then,

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Complications by Atul Gawande--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to an audiobook excerpt from Atul Gawande's Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science, a 2002 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction. In gripping accounts of true cases, surgeon Atul Gawande explores the power and the limits of medicine, offering an unflinching view from the scalpel's edge. Complications lays bare a science not in its idealized form but as it actually is—uncertain, perplexing, and profoundly human.

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Praise for Complications

"Complications is a book about medicine that reads like a thriller."
--Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point

"Complications is a uniquely soulful book about the science of mending bodies."
--Adam Gopnik, author of From Paris to the Moon

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About the Author

Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande is the author of The Checklist Manifesto and Better. Complications was a National Book Award finalist. He is also a MacArthur Fellow, a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He served as a senior health policy advisor in the Clinton presidential campaign and White House from 1992 to 1993. He received his B.A.S. from Stanford University, M.A. in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University, M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health. He lives with his wife and three children in Newton, Massachusetts.

Atul Gawande

Tim Llewellyn
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Available Formats and Book Details

Complications
A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
Atul Gawande

Award

ALA Notable Books - Winner, National Book Awards - Finalist, PEN Literary Award - Finalist

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
Metropolitan Books
April 2003
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429972109
ISBN10: 1429972106
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 288 pages
$9.99

Abridged Digital Audio

Abridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
March 2003
Abridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781593970314
ISBN10: 1593970315
Audio Run Time: 7:30
$16.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Metropolitan Books
April 2002
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780805063196
ISBN10: 0805063196
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 288 pages
$27.00

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
April 2003
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312421700
ISBN10: 0312421702
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 288 pages
$16.00
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