HEALTH MATTERS: A Doctor’s Prescriptions on Medicine

For National Doctor’s Day, this selection of videos of surgeon-writer Atul Gawande presents a range of issues confronting doctors. The first video from a TED Talk looks into improving the process of providing care and the second delves into more personal takes about being a doctor. The third video is a trailer for a Frontline documentary based on his book “Being Mortal,” about how doctors deal with — and could better approach — aging and dying.

[TED Ed / YouTube] How do we heal medicine? – Atul Gawande
[BigThink / YouTube] Big Think Interview With Atul Gawande
[Frontline] Dr. Atul Gawande on Aging, Dying and “Being Mortal” | FRONTLINE

Dr. Atul Gawande is a Boston surgeon who practices general and endocrine surgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Gawande is also a professor at the Harvard Medical School and a staff writer for The New Yorker. In addition to his latest book “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” he has also written “Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science” and “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.”

Learn more:

  • [New Yorker] All Work by Atul Gawande: “(Oliver Sacks): His most important role as a doctor and a writer was to bear witness to the wide experience of being human.” Read more
  • [New York Times] Atul Gawande: By the Book: “I’ve been hooked on Sherlock Holmes for years — every story is a kind of diagnosis — and Watson’s is the inviting voice of the entire series. He is intelligent, observant and faithful, the way we want all doctors to be. “ Read more
  • [TED] Atul Gawande: What doctors don’t learn about death and dying: “Modern scientific capability has profoundly altered the course of human life. People live longer and better than at any other time in history. But scientific advances have turned the processes of aging and dying into medical experiences, matters to be managed by health care professionals. And we in the medical world have proved alarmingly unprepared for it.” Read more
  • [New York Times Book Review] A Prescription for Life’s Final Stretch by Janet Maslin: “He captures the inevitable physical intimacy that comes with death, which is perhaps the strangest shock to a culture that has used hospitals and nursing facilities to isolate the dying from the healthy in ways that earlier generations never could.” Read more
  • [Democracy Now!] Being Mortal: Dr. Atul Gawande on How U.S. Healthcare Fails to Handle the End of Life: “We don’t teach geriatrics to 97 percent of our medical students in the country. The geriatrics profession has fewer people who are being trained in it today than a decade ago, even though our numbers of people who need these skills are exploding.” Read more
  • [Atul Gawande] Website
  • [Amazon] Books by Atul Gawande

Photo credit: Frontline, screenshot from video Dr. Atul Gawande on Aging, Dying and “Being Mortal” | FRONTLINE


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