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
Try checking the availability of this book at your school or local library or explore second hand bookshops and websites. You may also wish to purchase from either Amazon or Blackwell’s.