Surgeon Atul Gawande shook up the medical profession a few years ago when he told doctors in his book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, that they could improve their results by borrowing a simple idea from the airlines, going through a checklist to make sure that important items aren’t overlooked during medial procedures.
In his new book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, (Macmillan/Holt/Metropolitan; Macmillan Audio), he has something to tell the medical profession that may be even more difficult to swallow. Doctors don’t listen to their patients, and that if they did, he says, they would discover that at the end of life, living longer is often not a person’s top priority.
Arrving tomorrow, the book is rising rapidly on Amazon’s sales rankings (at #38 this morning from #108, it’s now at #17).
Libraries have ordered it conservatively and holds are rising. They are likely to increase even more after Gawande’s appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart tonight.
UPDATE: Below is the appearance. As a result, the book rose to #7 on Amazon’s sales rankings.