Atul Gawande Quotes

Enjoy the top 241 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Atul Gawande.

Atul Gawande Quotes

What tormented Ivan Ilyich most," Tolstoy writes, "was the deception, the lie, which for some reason they all accepted, that he was not dying but was simply ill, and he only need keep quiet and undergo a treatment and then something very good would result." Ivan Ilyich has flashes of hope that maybe things will turn around, but as he grows weaker and more emaciated he knows what is happening. He lives in mounting anguish and fear of death. But death is not a subject that his doctors, friends, or family can countenance. That is what causes him his most profound pain.
— Atul Gawande —

We always hope for the easy fix: the one simple change that will erase a problem in a stroke. But few things in life work this way. Instead, success requires making a hundred small steps go right - one after the other, no slipups, no goofs, everyone pitching in.

— Atul Gawande

Life is choices, and they are relentless. No sooner have you made one choice than another is upon you.

— Atul Gawande

The important question isn't how to keep bad physicians from harming patient; it's how to keep good physicians from harming patients. Medical malpractice suits are a remarkably ineffective remedy.
(In reference to a Harvard Medical Practice Study) ... fewer than 2 percent of the patients who had received substandard care ever filed suit. Conversely, only a small minority among patients who did sue had in fact been victims of negligent care. And a patient's likelihood of winning a suit depended primarily on how poor his or her outcome was, regardless of whether that outcome was caused by disease or unavoidable risks of care. The deeper problem with medical malpractice is that by demonizing errors they prevent doctors from acknowledging & discussing them publicly. The tort system makes adversaries of patient & physician, and pushes each other to offer a heavily slanted version of events.

— Atul Gawande

The core predicament of medicine - the thing that makes being a patient so wrenching, being a doctor so difficult, and being a part of society that pays the bills they run up so vexing - is uncertainty. With all that we know nowadays about people and diseases and how to diagnose and treat them, it can be hard to see this, hard to grasp how deeply uncertainty runs. As a doctor, you come to find, however, that the struggle in caring for people is more often with what you do not know than what you do. Medicine's ground state is uncertainty. And wisdom - for both the patients and doctors - is defined by how one copes with it.

— Atul Gawande

Terminally ill cancer patients who were put on a mechanical ventilator, given electrical defibrillation or chest compressions, or admitted, near death, to intensive care had a substantially worse quality of life in their last week than those who received no such interventions. And, six months after their death, their caregivers were three times as likely to suffer major depression.

— Atul Gawande

We want progress in medicine to be clear and unequivocal, but of course it rarely is. Every new treatment has gaping unknowns - for both patients and society - and it can be hard to decide what do do about them.

— Atul Gawande

People die only once. They have no experience to draw on.

— Atul Gawande

You know, there's this phase of people's lives in which they can't really cope on their own, and we ought to find a way to make it manageable.

— Atul Gawande

HOW DID WE wind up in a world where the only choices for the very old seem to be either going down with the volcano or yielding all control over our lives?

— Atul Gawande

When, as the researchers put it, "life's fragility is primed," people's goals and motives in their everyday lives shift completely. It's perspective, not age, that matters most. Tolstoy

— Atul Gawande

Doctors quickly learn that how much they make has little to do with how good they are. It largely depends on how they handle the business side of their practice.

— Atul Gawande

The evidence is that people who enter hospice don't have shorter lives. In many cases they are longer.

— Atul Gawande

If we took away the ability to put defibrillators in people in their last years, people would be shouting in the streets.

— Atul Gawande

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