Gawande’s Winding Road from Politics to Surgery to Journalism

In an interview with Medscape’s Dr. Eric J. Topol, editor in chief, Dr Atul Gawande discusses his journey from medical school to working in the Clinton administration to being a journalist. Dr. Gawande is currently a Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

In comparing surgeons with politicians, Gawande said, “Surgeons are grappling with having limited information and knowledge, imperfect science, but have a necessity to act in the face of both imperfection in their own abilities and imperfect knowledge in the world. I saw a lot of the same incredible range of characters and people [in politics and the operating room].” Dr. Gawande concluded that this is a fascinating time in medicine because “we’re all trying to figure out how to make systems work instead of just using drugs and devices.”

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