A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
Rate this:

The New York Times bestselling author of Complications examines, in riveting accounts of medical failure and triumph, how success is achieved in a complex and risk-filled profession

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 of diligence, ingenuity, and what it means to do right by people take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, to labor and delivery rooms in Boston, to a polio outbreak in India, and to malpractice courtrooms around the country. He discusses the ethical dilemmas of doctors' participation in lethal injections, examines the influence of money on modern medicine, and recounts the astoundingly contentious history of hand washing. And as in all his writing, Gawande gives us an inside look at his own life as a practicing surgeon, offering a searingly honest firsthand account of work in a field where mistakes are both unavoidable and unthinkable.

At once unflinching and compassionate, Better is an exhilarating journey narrated by "arguably the best nonfiction doctor-writer around" ( Salon ). Gawande's investigation into medical professionals and how they progress from merely good to great provides rare insight into the elements of success, illuminating every area of human endeavor.

Publisher: New York : Metropolitan, 2007.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780805082111
Branch Call Number: 616 GAWANDE
Characteristics: x, 273 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

patcumming Mar 10, 2017

Some interesting observations about medicine and health care that can be applied to performance in general. A good read.

Jan 22, 2017

A good read with interesting case studies.

Dec 26, 2012

I enjoyed this more than its predecessor (Complications). I found it inspiring how Gawande shows it is completely reachable to make major changes to medical practice that can help so many. Likeable for medical and non-medical type alike!


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at LPL

To Top