Atul Gawande's Mistakes as a Doctor

1028 Words5 Pages
Tensely watching his patient, the experienced doctor feverishly checked his phone for confirmation to begin the surgery. Aware that the radioactive tracer he injected into his patient was rapidly decimating he wondered how he could have prevented this situation. Could he have been more careful when to inject the material? Could he have picked a better date for the operation? Atul Gawande found himself questioning his ability as a medical care provider. All humans make mistakes, however in a profession where human lives are at stake mistakes are unacceptable. The chase for perfection has allured humans since the beginning of time, whether an athlete, politician or doctor, perfection has long been sought after. Yet, after so much time have humans gotten any closer to improving their performance, or has their obsession with perfection blinded them?

“No choices will always be right. There are ways however, to make our choices better.” (63), The chase to increase one’s performance and eventually achieve perfection has created numerous opportunities. Whether new innovations to increase productivity or faster machines to speed reactions times, new opportunities for humans to improve their performance occur every day. Still at the most basic level, where all technology is stripped, humans are naturally built to find the path of least resistance to finish their goal, very rarely will they properly finish every step in a goal regardless of innovations granting more time for decisions.“We always hope for the easy fix: the one simple change that will erase a problem in a stroke.” (21), corners will likely be cut, and steps will inevitably be skipped. Even doctors who have lives depending on them will make mistakes. For example hospitals ar...

... middle of paper ...

...that can foil even the best plans. Perfection does not have a single definition, “The act of making something perfect or better”-Merriam Webster. It is up to each individual to decide whether he or she achieved perfection in their job, and the bar to determine that is similarly different for each individual. In the end when the task has been completed individuals shouldn’t necessarily ask themselves if they were perfect, they should ask themselves how they can improve from their experience. Achieving perfection is a constant chase, when one thinks they were perfect they must also realize that they could have been better. When an individual thinks they are perfect, they have given up on the chase for perfection. “Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence. It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all, it takes a willingness to try.”

More about Atul Gawande's Mistakes as a Doctor

Open Document