BN.com Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

Average Rating 4.5
( 144 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(75)

4 Star

(44)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

This is a great read from a very respected surgeon. As a physic

This is a great read from a very respected surgeon. As a physician myself, I've always enjoyed reading books by physicians. Dr. Gawande has emerged as quite possibly the most reasonable, insightful, and even poetic of all physician writers. This book is a great read ...
This is a great read from a very respected surgeon. As a physician myself, I've always enjoyed reading books by physicians. Dr. Gawande has emerged as quite possibly the most reasonable, insightful, and even poetic of all physician writers. This book is a great read for anyone interested in the ethics of being a surgeon. Dr. Gawande's other books are also interesting reads, especially for doctors.
Other books by surgeons I highly recommend are Dr. Anthony Youn's "In Stitches," which is his absolutely hilarious and heartwarming story of becoming a doctor, and "Hot Lights Cold Steel" by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Collins. These are geared towards a general audience and very worthwhile reads.

posted by 7970514 on March 24, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Overly hyped and I fell for it

Although eager to learn something from this physician's account, I found I was willing to leave the book after 50 pages. I did not, I did read it entirely but it was a waste of time. Some physicians can write, some cannot. This is a "not".

posted by LifeExamined on December 12, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 144 Customer Reviews
Page 2 of 8
  • Posted May 2, 2009

    Wonderful, enlightening book, Well Written

    The "take home": Be pro-active and involved with your health care. Your physician/Surgeon is a trained human and wants you informed, but most people are blindly passive when it come to their heath care. Knowing medical limitations should make you more understanding when things go wrong.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2008

    Very Intriguing and Insightful

    As a senior nursing student getting ready to start work in the Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit, I wanted a book that took a look into surgery and the practice of medicine. This book satiated my interests in the two, and I would recommend it to anyone. Easy to read, informative, intriguing...couldn't put it down (even with two young kids and a husband around!)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2008

    Fascinating in the Horror and the Reassurance

    I was horrified by what I read, and also greatly reassured. We often wonder of doctors and surgeons the question, 'why?' Well, this author attempts to tell us why, and he does so in a language that is both simple and beautiful. I couldn't NOT finish this book. When I was through I immediately advised my mom to read it. I recommend it to anyone, especially those who have found themselves in a sea of medical personnel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2007

    Amazing

    This book is the best book I have ever read. Atul Gawande has great storytelling skills and excellent stories to use them on. Now I'm off to read Einstein by Walter Isaacson.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2007

    Best book on modern medicine!

    This book was the most amazing book I have ever read! Gawande goes into such a remarkable depth of patients and doctors and their heroic journeys. The tension and sheer tearer in this book is so palpable you feel like you are in the mind of Gawande. A smart read for anyone!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2007

    Very insightful!!!

    As an EMT, I am obviously interested in the medical field. I could not put this book down. He has a very charismatic way of writing about some of the hardest issues surrounding medicine.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2006

    EXCELLENT!!

    WOW! As a prospective surgeon, I was very pleased with the insight into the career provided with this book. Each of the stories was interesting and contributed to a new aspect of the job. Definitely recommended!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2006

    fantastic

    This is an amazing book. It shows you how undoubtably human surgery is. Its not all glamour and everyone makes it, doctors are perfect, and when things go wrong its never their fault. It is a hard jump to think about surgery's preformed by attendings but as one in the medical field, I can attest without it you would never learn. Fantastic read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2006

    Fantastic book for anyone interested in medicine (doctors and patients)

    As a second year medical student I read this book as part of a class, but if I had known how much I would enjoy it I would have read it long ago. The book is a collection of short stories that show the joys as well as challenges of medicine. The stories are not only very interesting medical cases, but also stories that show the humanity of medicine. I think Gawande¿s ability to show that despite the many miracles of medicine all doctors are still human and therefore inevitably flawed. I highly recommend this book to anyone especially anyone interested in a career in medicine.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2005

    From a Young Woman entering Med school

    This book was so good that I read it in less than a week. This book is like being in the mind of a surgen. Gawande tells about how doctors are humans too and they don't always have all of the answers. He gives different settings where there is a difficult decision to make and the conclusions of both choices. I feel better prepared for medical school since I have read this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2005

    WOW!

    Amazing! As a student soon to enter medical school, this book had me wishing I was already there. I have read it twice since I bought it a month ago. The stories are so gripping, so real and detailed, I couldn't help but read through the night!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2005

    A must read for aging Boomers ...

    As an aging Boomer, 'Complications' provided me with a candid glimpse into the day to day realities of surgical medicine. This book revealed several rather significant misconceptions I previously held concerning surgeons and surgical practice and exposed them as myths using real-world examples and statistical evidence. My primary conclusion after reading this book is that caveat emptor (buyer beware) holds as true in the arena of surgical medicine as it does at the mall or supermarket. I would strongly encourage anyone who is considering undergoing a surgical procedure or who may be in the unenviable position of having to make a surgical decision on behalf of a loved one or relative to read this book in advance.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2004

    serious and witty at the same time

    Gawande wrote in a beautiful structure that each part opened with great introductions and gave us his stories so the readers could picture the situation. never lost my interest while reading this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2004

    My eyes would have to be surgically removed from the pages.

    This book gives the taget audience knowledge that has nothing to do with medicine or doctors, and you do not have to be a medical student to understand it. It tells you the history of some medical methods and historical figures. I felt smarter every time I turned the page.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2004

    A book full of disturbing realities that everyone should become aware of .

    Reading 'Complications' opened my eyes as a young adult, about to step into the world. Before reading this book, I simply assumed that doctors and surgeons knew everything and rarely made mistakes. Atul Gawande was not only brutally honest about the medical world, he also explained many realities and truths in plain English, so that anyone would be able to understand what he was trying to say. After reading this book, I will not only watch out for my doctors performances more closely;I will simply second check my banker, cashier at the grocery store, and myself as well. As Atul Gawande put it,'We are all, whatever we do, in the hands of flawed human beings.' Everyone makes mistakes and not everyone knows how to admit to them. Before I read this book I was very naive, I would have put my life in the hands of any doctor with no questions asked, simply because they had earned a degree. Now I know better. I now realize that in the real world, I must know how to use my intelligence and ask questions constantly. I give this book the highest rating, simply because Dr. Atul Gawande made me into a skeptic.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2003

    A Successful Surgery

    'Complications' opens up to the reader a view into the 'underbelly' that docs (and patients) are faced with daily, and that we so often are afraid to look at. But Dr. Gawande's provision of this look-see can only help to educate us and move us in the direction of gaining clarity so as to tease out the complications. Especially skillful and engaging is Dr. Gawande's juxtaposition of ethical issues with personal and experiential anecdote--enabling the reader to feel his or her way into, and better understand and feel a compassion for, the many complicated questions facing us all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2003

    Could not put it down!

    Fascinating! I have chronic pain problems and found the chapter on pain especially helpful and useful. I did not find any part of the book that was slow or boring.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2003

    Great read!

    Did Complications a Surgeon¿s Notes on an Imperfect Science 'cut it'? This book shows the darker side of Surgery, it sheds a whole new light on the current state of the medical field. It changed my view on medicine and medicines role in society. Reading about the harsh circumstances that some doctors have to work in, gave me even more respect for surgeons and doctors in today¿s medical field. I recommend this book to anyone that has an interest in the true life of a surgeon, and also anyone that is considering being a surgeon as his or her profession. This book will make the reader think twice about having surgery and who is going to be holding the cutting knife.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2003

    Pre-Med Must Read

    Complications is a must read for aspiring physicians. This book sheds a whole new light on the current state of the medical field. It changed my view on medicine, medicines role in society, and challenged me to think about my future career as a physician.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2002

    Great reading for all, but especially for physicians and aspiring physicians.

    As "The House of God" embraces and allows us to laugh at those undesirable aspects of practicing medicine, "Complications" reminds those in the field why they were drawn to it while also offering the author's insights on successes and failures--both of individuals and the profession as a whole--to which any physician can relate.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 144 Customer Reviews
Page 2 of 8