Thursday, August 02, 2007

Diligence — the necessity of giving sufficient attention to detail

Books of Account
Better
Atul Gawande


Atul Gawande’s Better (http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/) is a collection of ‘a surgeon’s notes on performance’. People often look to great athletes for lessons about performance, writes the author in the intro. Athletes do indeed have lessons to teach — about the value of perseverance, of hard work and practice, of precision, concedes Gawande.

“But success in medicine has dimensions that cannot be found on a playing field.” He then lists the special characteristics of his profession: “Lives are on the line. Our decisions and omissions are therefore moral in nature. We also face daunting expectations… The steps are often uncertain. The knowledge to be mastered is both vast and incomplete. Yet we are expected to act with swiftness and consistency.”

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