OVERRIDE

Complications

A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

Atul Gawande

Metropolitan Books

  • National Book Awards Finalist

    National Book Awards Finalist

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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.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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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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MEDIA

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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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REVIEWS

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

Reviews from Goodreads

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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
    Atul Gawande
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Available Formats and Book Details

Complications

A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

Atul Gawande

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

Metropolitan Books

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