Complications

Version: Abridged
Author: Atul Gawande
Narrator: William David Griffith
Genres: Biography & Memoir, Health & Wellness, Science & Technology, Medicine
Publisher: Audio Renaissance
Published In: April 2003
# of Units: 6 CDs
Length: 7 hours, 30 minutes
Ratings:
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Overview

A brilliant and courageous doctor reveals, in gripping accounts of true cases, the power and limits of modern medicine.
Sometimes in medicine the only way to know what is truly going on in a patient is to operate, to look inside with one's own eyes. This audio is exploratory surgery on medicine itself, laying bare a science not in its idealized form but as it actually is -- complicated, perplexing, and profoundly human.
Atul Gawande offers an unflinching view from the scalpel's edge, where science is ambiguous, information is limited, the stakes are high, yet decisions must be made. In dramatic and revealing stories of patients and doctors, he explores how deadly mistakes occur and why good surgeons go bad. He also shows us what happens when medicine comes up against the inexplicable: an architect with incapacitating back pain for which there is no physical cause; a young woman with nausea that won't go away; a television newscaster whose blushing is so severe that she cannot do her job. Gawande offers a richly detailed portrait of the people and the science, even as he tackles the paradoxes and imperfections inherent in caring for human lives.
At once tough-minded and humane, "Complications" is a new kind of medical writing, nuanced and lucid, unafraid to confront the conflicts and uncertainties that lie at the heart of modern medicine, yet always alive to the possibilities of wisdom in this extraordinary endeavor. "Complications "is a 2002 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction.

Reviews (3)

Complications

Written by Anonymous on November 26th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Stories related to disease, patients and the practice of medicine. This book is good but not at the very top of books in this category.

Thoughtful and moving

Written by Ronald Hayden from San Francisco, CA on November 12th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Through stories of patients he has encountered, Atul Gawande not only provides a satisfying roller-coaster ride in which you really want to know how the patient will turn out, but he explores deeper questions of what it means to be a doctor and a patient. After listening to this, you will feel like you were the uncertain doctor guessing at what to do next. You'll realize what an uncertain world it is for the patient, and you'll know some of the things going on behind the scenes. Particularly interesting are the questions of how to address inevitable errors among doctors and the question of who should decide in the end, doctor or patient? Atul Gawande is a wonderful, thoughful writer and the narration reflects this perfectly.

Bare bones medicine

Written by Anonymous on November 2nd, 2004

  • Book Rating: 4/5

An insiders view of the very worst in medicine, an account of how things really work. It also shows that doctors are humans too.

Author Details

Author Details

Gawande, Atul

Atul Gawande is a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a staff writer for "The New Yorker". He is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, and he was nominated for a 2002 National Book Award for his book "Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science". His new book, "Better", will be coming out this spring.