Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.
Atul Gawande is a general surgeon and an exceptional writer. His essays, often found in top medical journals as well as lay publications such as The New Yorker, offer an honest and always compelling examination into the practice of our art. His technique as an essayist is admirable, usually starting with a clinical case. He leaves the story at some point to venture forth from the specific into the wider world of academia, government, and medical systems. He asks the relevant broad questions that flow from the particular case study. At the end, Gawande resolves the clinical story, at least from a narrative point of view, and comes to his conclusions. To his credit, he is not afraid if there is no clear answer to the dilemma presented.
Clarfield AM. Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance. JAMA. 2007;298(10):1220-1225. doi:10.1001/jama.298.10.1221