The Weekend Read – Better by Atul Gawande

Unknown If Atul Gawande is anything like as good a surgeon as he is a writer and thinker then his patients are in good hands.

Subtitled, “A Surgeons Notes on Performance” the author looks at medicine in a variety of locations from battlefields in Iraq, through courtrooms to maternity suites and specialities including treating polio outbreaks and cystic fibrosis.

His premise is that we should be looking to do things better and his preoccupation is what makes the difference between getting it right 99.95% rather than “just” 99.5% of the time. The eleven essays are grouped under three headings, “Diligence”, “Doing Right” and “Ingenuity” and as usual with Gawande’s writing pose significant questions not least of which is the opener, “what does it take to be good at something in which failure is so easy, so effortless?”

He makes one very significant point in that most of us will turn out to be average – it has to be like that – but what can we do about it? His answer is that settling for it is not acceptable and we must seek to improve individually in order that the collective also improves – to do that we must look long and hard at our own performance and take whatever action is required to get better.

An excellent read.

Available from Amazon here.

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