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Reflection of Better, by Atul Gawande

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Reflection of Better, by Atul Gawande
In Better, Atul Gawande takes the reader to courtrooms, clinics, war zones, and execution chambers to demonstrate the incredible environments in which doctors care for and treat patients. While drawing on a vast array of sources, including his own personal experience, Gawande interweaves into nearly every chapter fascinating vignettes about the most important person in his view of medicine: the patient. By ensuring that every message is personalized in this manner, he brings a warm, humane touch to this superb book.
His idea of the “three core requirements” for successful performance in medicine— diligence, doing right, and ingenuity — and in turn considers specific problem areas in each. He cites three distinct examples in which diligence is essential to the successful execution of medical therapy: the WHO’s and their work in India with the polio outbreak, US military’s medical staff in Iraq, and the work of infection-control specialists with hand washing and disease prevention. All of their efforts are demonstrably linked by the almost obsessive diligence of the clinicians responsible.
When talking about ‘doing right,’ Gawande takes on a number of compelling issues which includes the litigious nature of our society toward health care providers. We meet two intriguing people, a physician colleague of the author whose son was harmed by medical error and an ex-clinician who is now working as a medical malpractice lawyer and gains the novel insight into the hardships dealing with rectifying the occasional harm that may just result from health care. Gawande’s allows the reader to consider the problems from enlightened viewpoints. As he states, litigation is a “singularly unsatisfactory solution,” bringing out the worst in everyone and often failing to help those injured by medical error. The search continues for more productive…...

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