Danna's Reviews > Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

Complications by Atul Gawande
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's review
Jan 23, 11

bookshelves: about-the-world
Read in January, 2011

About 30 pages into this book, I felt like I would never be able to trust a physician again. The first section, "Fallibility", is a series of stories describing tragic failures, ineptitudes, and misdiagnoses in medicine. Nonetheless, I found myself roped in and could not stop reading. The second section, "Mysteries," was less interesting to me. Gawande addresses a number of medical mysteries, including the tale of a chronic blusher and an unbearably nauseous pregnant woman. I considered skipping ahead, but stuck with it. The third section, "Uncertainties", was more interesting than "Mysteries" but less so than "Fallibility." The last story of "The Red Leg" was horrifying, but I must say Gawande weaves a great tale. The way he went back and forth between medical description and Eleanor's story kept me turning the pages. This is an easy read even if you have no medical background/terminology (I don't). Gawande writes in a concise style that explains everything in layman's terms.

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