Complications : A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
This is a stunningly well-written account of the life of a surgeon: what it is like to cut into people's bodies and the terrifying - literally life and death - decisions that have to be made. There are accounts of operations that go wrong; of doctors who go to the bad; why autopsies are necessary; what it feels like to insert your knife into someone.
'Gawande draws you in with the story but leaves you wiser about science, about health, and even about the human condition.' Michael Kinsley 'Ever wondered how realistic ER is? Then read Gawande's superb book. The truth, you will find, is far more compelling, though the endings are never as neat...Gawande makes the scenes far more dramatic than television ever can. He is a first-class writer.' Scotland on Sunday 'Written as tautly as a thriller.' The Observer 'I don't know if Atul Gawande was born to be a surgeon - I very much suspect so - but he was certainly born to write. This wise and exciting account of life as a surgical resident...perfectly captures the wonder and fearful responsibility that come with cutting people open in the hope of making them whole again.' Bill Bryson
One of the world's most distinguished doctors, he is a staff writer on the New Yorker, advised President Clinton on health policies, teaches surgery at Harvard Medical School and practises it in Boston. He has lectured in the UK and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford.