Finished my first Kindle book today, a book called "Better" by Atul Gawande. (For those of you who don't know Gawande's writing well or at all you can catch him in a piece I recommended on Facebook a week or so ago called "The Itch.") More than a doctor, Gawande is curious, compassionate, open to possibility. The book addresses striving for improvement in the realm of medicine, but the lessons learned could be applied to any profession--business, law, the arts, etc. The book is mostly a collection of essays of those who strive to improve the field of medicine throughout the world--from the top hospital for cystic fybrosis treatment, to a malpractice lawyer representing patients who was a doctor in a previous life, to a doctor in the fields of military medicine in Iraq, to improving infant mortality rates through more surgery and less natural childbirth.
After reading all of the portraits, then Gawande wraps up the book with a challenge, a suggestion for becoming a positive deviant in your career or chosen profession. They are:
- Ask an unscripted question of the person you are providing care or service to.
- Don't complain.
- Count something. (His way of saying notice patterns in the chaos...)
- Write something.
As is obvious, I have no problem with number 4. All others I need work on.
And, because I am adept at number 4, you can bet you will read of my striving of becoming "Better."