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Download Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Complications: A Surgeons Notes on an Imperfect Science Audiobook, by Atul Gawande Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (11,880 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Atul Gawande Narrator: William David Griffith Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2003 ISBN: 9781593970314
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “None surpass Gawande in the ability to create a sense of immediacy, in his power to conjure the reality of the ward, the thrill of the moment-by-moment medical and surgical drama. Complications impresses for its truth and authenticity, virtues that it owes to its author being as much forceful writer as uncompromising chronicler. The New York Times Book Review

  • No one writes about medicine as a human subject as well as Atul Gawande. His stories about becoming a surgeon are scary, funny, absorbing....Complications is a uniquely soulful book about the science of mending bodies. Adam Gopnik, author of Paris to the Moon
  • Gawande is arguably the best nonfiction doctor-writer around....He's prescient and thoughtful...the heir to Lewis Thomas' humble, insightful and brilliantly crafted oeuvre. Salon.com

  • Among shortlisted titles for National Book Awards - Finalist, 2002
  • Among shortlisted titles for PEN Literary Award - Finalist, 2003
  • Winner of ALA Notable Books - Winner, 2003
  • A 2002 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin Martin | 2/19/2014

    " I actually knew this man's brother and was given this book when it was first published. It has stayed with me all these years! Fantastic! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 2/16/2014

    " Fascinating read. I really loved the second section of the book which focused on the mystery aspect. This doctor has a way of making an eye in the surgical world accessible without being overly grotesque in terms of blood and gore for those who have a weaker stomach for those kinds of things. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne Tanner | 2/13/2014

    " I know I only gave it three stars, but it's not because I didn't think this book was awesome. I probably gave it three stars because the medical world really is not my thing, and I just don't want this book hanging out with the ranks of Austin and Dickins and whatnot. But rest assured, this was a fascinating book, and I will recommend this book to everyone who's the least bit interested in medicine, as a profession or as a patient. I must admit, the first section where he talks about the fallibility of doctors (especially doctors like residents, that are just learning) was a bit discouraging, but the rest of it was extremely interesting. I especially liked the chapter on pain. Anyway, it was a great non-fiction read, and I really enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erica | 2/11/2014

    " A fascinating and insightful analysis of the unavoidable trial & error, and plain old mistakes, in the medical profession. Doctors are humans too, and a bad day at work for these folks is devastating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tricia | 1/28/2014

    " I recommned this for anyone (or significant other) going into Medicine. Great read! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Danny Darke | 1/25/2014

    " This book was very interesting and I'm glad I read it. Not a page turner but worth the time. Except when he went to the med conference...coulda done without that bit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brooke | 1/21/2014

    " Very interesting read on the medical field; and considering it's topic, an engaging and quick read also. Raises a lot of good questions and points on the infallibility of doctors and the mysteries of medicine. I will probably read his other book on medicine also. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kennedy | 1/9/2014

    " Fantastic series of essays about medicine, and particularly surgery. This dude can write (he's one of the The New Yorker's medical writers, along with Jerome Groopman, MD). A real talent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 K | 12/25/2013

    " DIdn't enjoy it as much as his other books- it seems as though it is more of a mish mash of anecdotes than a cohesive narrative. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacie Hidek | 12/14/2013

    " This is a good book to read in short bursts because of the way the sections are divided. It's a nice mix of research and personal experience offering a look at some of the problems and questions of surgical practice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peg | 1/7/2013

    " Interesting and thought provoking stories from a resident surgeon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirsti | 12/26/2012

    " Why don't good doctors do more to prevent bad doctors from practicing medicine? Are ERs really crazier on the night of a full moon? And what is flesh-eating bacteria, anyway? Gawande is a terrific writer, and his humble tone is very appealing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jake Barrington | 9/30/2012

    " A good book for anyone interested in life lessons, surgery, hospitals, or anything else medical-related. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie O'Neill | 9/13/2012

    " The first I read if Atul Gawande's medical non-fiction, a study in ethics and the way MDs are educated...eye-opening and sobering, you can't put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steph | 8/7/2012

    " Gawande is an impressive writer; his stories are great and give a good inside view of the surgical and medical profession...makes it a little scary going into the profession myself, knowing everything that can go wrong, but also understanding the good that can come of care. A good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 loafingcactus | 12/14/2011

    " Decent airplane book which neither glosses over nor goes too deeply into the balancing acts of the practice of medicine. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Grettel | 10/15/2011

    " Interesting, more introspection than particular case studies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Datchuk | 6/25/2011

    " Visceral take on improving performance in medicine "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joyce Zaugg | 6/25/2011

    " It was a very interesting book about the complications and sometimes split second decisions a doctor sometimes makes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Austyn | 6/23/2011

    " Picked this book up at my mom's cause I was bored and read it in 2 days, pretty interesting studies about the medical world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leigh | 6/23/2011

    " I loved this book. Makes you think and very informative without being boring or full of doctor talk that is over your head. Very readable. I REALLY enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Merle | 6/8/2011

    " Great book! Very intriguing and enlightening. The principles in this book apply to more than the medical field. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 6/1/2011

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Gawande writes using minimal jargon, so that I understand what he is talking about, yet still feel as though I am learning a lot about the medical profession. He also presents both sides of each issue, although he definitely lets his own bias be known. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 5/21/2011

    " While Gawande stays clearly in the domain of medicine, there are lessons in this book to be learned by those working in any craft that combines technology, personal skill, and human interaction. Better is a good read for anyone seeking to understand performance. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Smehta | 5/19/2011

    " More of my new favorite author.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sholeen | 5/15/2011

    " Really enjoy his books, they are motivating "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 5/4/2011

    " Props to Jessica for giving me this for my bday - it's right up my alley. I felt kind of proud that he makes health care policy sound so interesting - and doable - and I hope a lot of people read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 5/4/2011

    " Not as good as Complications but he's a warm, insightful writer and his stories and thoughts are fascinating. I did skip some stuff, though, unlike Complications. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jasmine | 4/29/2011

    " Good read, found the death penalty chapter especially interesting. Still prefer Complications though, maybe because I can relate to that on a personal level. "

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About the Author
Author Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande is author of three bestselling books: Complications, a finalist for the National Book Award; Better, selected by Amazon.com as one of the ten best books of 2007; and The Checklist Manifesto. His latest book is Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. He is also a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for the New Yorker, and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He has won the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science, a MacArthur Fellowship, and two National Magazine Awards. In his work in public health, he is executive director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally. He and his wife have three children and live in Newton, Massachusetts.