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

Complications by Atul Gawande
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Mar 06, 2011

it was amazing
Read in March, 2011

This book was so fascinating... one of those page-turner nonfiction books, this one about doctors and medical mistake-making. He basically analyzed mistakes in medicine and their causes--imperfect human decision-making, fatigue, incompetence, and just the natural complexity of the human body. Don't read it if you are skittish about going to the doctor though. :-) But I found it completely fascinating. Of course, doctors make mistakes, just like everyone else, and I've always been irritated by the prevalence of malpractice suits because I think the American public is just too trigger-happy with litigation. I know there are bad and even immoral doctors, but in the vast majority of cases, I believe doctors are human and make mistakes just like everyone else, and you just have to build a system whereby you minimize that as much as possible. He mentioned that his hospital does a weekly meeting with all the doctors where they analyze the cases that happened that week where something went wrong, and how they (delicately) handle it, and how they use that to put into place procedures to minimize it in the future. So really, it ended up making me feel better about the whole thing. Because your only other option is to forgo medical care! Anyway, I thought it was a great read and I definitely want to read his newer book, "Better."
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