Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science
By Atul Gawande
* * * * * Stars (Amazing!)
In 2006 when he published this, Atul Gawande was a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston as well as an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School (in addition to being a writer for The New Yorker). Here, he collects some patient/doctor stories that give insight into the training of doctors (surgeons in particular) and practice of medicine. He raises a lot of ethical quandaries as well, such as the dilemma surgeons face in teaching their craft to the next generation, medical malpractice (what can be done to limit harm, help physicians who are suffering from their own demons), patient choice and autonomy, when to follow intuition, etc. It’s fascinating and terrifying. Published for adults, high school teens with an interest in medicine or narrative nonfiction may enjoy this as well.
Reviewed by YA Librarian