Doctors, nurses and hospitals have become the stuff of TV shows with hair-raising, life-and-death scenarios that capture large, dedicated audiences. The real thing can be even more fascinating, especially when it's seen through the eyes of a trained medical professional who is also a gifted writer. Atul Gawande is both of those things. He was in his last year as a surgical resident and working as a staff writer on medicine and science for The New Yorker when he wrote Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science, read here by William David Griffith. The frontline stories he relates focus on the uncertainties, dilemmas and unknowns of practical medicine, on "what happens when the simplicities of science come up against the complexities of individual lives." Informative and intriguing from beginning to end.

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