In an essay for the New Yorker titled “The Bell Curve,” Dr. Atul Gawande argued that much of the medical care Americans get is not the best. There’s a fascinating article by Atul Gawande in a recent New Yorker about It is distressing for doctors to have to acknowledge the bell curve. Atul Gawande writes,. It used to be assumed that differences among hospitals or doctors in a particular specialty were generally insignificant.

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Here is a brief excerpt:.

What accounts for its excellence? In the nearly 60 years of organizational research on quality measurement and safety improvement that has occurred since World War II, we have collectively learned that we improve only processes that we measure. Open in a separate window. Your email address will not be published.

Today, despite his busy surgical practice, Dr. What I like about his books, in addition to the incisive writing, is his unflinching willingness to confront many of our most tightly held myths about medical practice. Atul Gawande, goes on not only to tell their story but also the story of the way in which the understanding of this disorder has increased and the unusual rigor with which centers that specialize in the disease are evaluated.

A focus on patient care?


Annals of Medicine: The Bell Curve

The answer to all these questions is likely, yes. We went from a world where we were mainly artisans, and that meant you simply did what you could.

We foster learning communities. Will we be expected to tell our patients how we score? You can reach me at my e-mail address, ude. The students appreciated it not only because its message is timely but also because the author used patient stories to introduce an important concept for physicians, especially those who are just ready gawands embark on their post graduate experiences.

Form, Function, and Ethics. He also happens to be a Harvard-trained surgeon, and he is now a Harvard Medical School faculty member a real low achiever!

It also contradicts the belief nearly all of us have that we are doing our job as well as it can be done. Gawande gives multiple examples. Commentary This is a very interesting article published in the Annals of Medicine section of the New Yorker magazine so it is an excellent example of what Rita Charon terms “lay exposition”–essays to instruct the lay public [“Narrative Medicine: In the meantime, be sure to read Complications and Better; I know you will be better off for having done so.

Other hospitals work very hard to provide top-quality care, both in and out of the hospital. Gawande will give me a break on the price!

CogSci Librarian: The (MD) Bell Curve

Please review our privacy policy. And what makes Warwick so special? As always, I am interested in your views. Learn how your comment data is processed. My interest continues with his latest book, Better: A Scottish study of patients with treatable colon cancer found that the ten-year survival rate ranged from a high of sixty-three per cent to a low of twenty per cent, depending on the surgeon. Gawande cites examples that we have written and read about in this space previously.



If you have not been lucky enough to see him in person, I suggest finding a national conference that he is headlining. Notify me of new posts by email. Journal List P T v. He not only discusses the bell curve of surgical performance; he also deftly points out that only when we examined death rates on the battlefield in Iraq and death rates in various cystic fibrosis CF specialty programs in the U.

Even doctors with great knowledge and technical skill can have mediocre results; more nebulous factors like aggressiveness and consistency and ingenuity can matter enormously. The author concludes, “When the stakes are our lives and the lives of our children, we expect averageness to be resisted.