By Atul Gawande
Review by Rob (Medicine)
When faced with the daunting task of “reading around your subject”, I had no idea where to begin. Initially I panicked, thinking the only thing I would be able to find was a 2000 page medical textbook that would cost a fortune. After looking at recommendations online, however, I found Complications, which I really enjoyed!
Written by a surgeon, the book explores many interesting and rare cases – perfect for personal statements – and also more social problems, such as “when good doctors go bad”. Despite some cases being fairly complex, Gawande writes in a clear way that’s both easy and enjoyable to read. The book describes things I hadn’t even considered and doubted possible, like an operation to prevent someone from blushing! It also gives a feel of what it’s like to work in Medicine and the problems faced by doctors on a day-to-day base. Some of the things I found most interesting were those that I’d never even heard of and that still perplex doctors today, like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Necrotising Fasciitis. Having said that, Complications isn’t a book all about doom and gloom, it has some amazing and really inspiring stories that would grip any would-be medic!
Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande