Better - Atul Gawande


By Atul Gawande

  • Release Date: 2008-01-22
  • Genre: Medical
Score: 4.5
From 163 Ratings



The New York Times bestselling author of Being Mortal and 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 this 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.


  • Fantastic Read

    By Umichsph
    I had to read this book for my school orientation. As far as summer reading goes, this has been the most engrossing, interesting and eye opening. Incredibly well written with a style akin to Gladwell, Atul makes every story come to life. The need for change not only in our medical system but in those around the world is made obvious with this book.
  • Interesting Read

    By Taiwantraveler
    I loved this book! The author writes beautifully and kept the book interesting through its various topics. I needed a book to read on my 5 hour flight and I saw this in an airport newstand. I'm so glad I bought this book instead of some magazine. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of the author's books. Highly recommended!
  • Inspiring

    By Vespertinas
    For jaded healthcare workers or the positive ones who need a boost, this author sounds the horn for us all to gather our best practices and move forward into the modern era of medicine in gracious style. He articulates that altruistic value we all must hold to do right by our patients in a sensitive but insistent way.
  • Another great book

    By Tuuppari
    Another great, thoughtful and insightful book. Real life cases combined with fresh perspectives to interesting topics. Just bought his third book and can hardly wait for the chance to read it.