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Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance    by Atul Gawande order for
by Atul Gawande
Order:  USA  Can
Metropolitan, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Jessica Weaver

The subtitle of Better is 'A Surgeon's Notes on Performance.' Gawande gives his reader just that: a collection of incredible essays dealing with medical performance in issues ranging from polio vaccinations in India, to the advancement of obstetrics, to hand washing practices in hospitals. It is obvious that Gawande uses his precision as a surgeon in his writing; his words are used wisely, he is sharp and witty, and he is very aware of the reader and of himself.

Relating each topic back to his own practice and how he might improve his own performance as a surgeon, Gawande explores each one in a short and solid essay. He is obviously passionate about the topics he chose and his passion comes through in his eloquent writing. Each essay is meticulously researched and offers commentary from other medical professionals relating to the discussion at hand. He also incorporates scenarios from his own patients, often as the bookends to an essay.

Any writer who can make the practice of hand washing a fascinating subject has my backing! From open to close, Better is a fascinating look at medical practices and hot topics around the world. I applaud Gawande for this spectacular work.

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