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4 Best Atul Gawande Books (2024)

Best Atul Gawande Books ReviewBio

Atul Gawande is a widely popular name among the best of the medical industry. Atul is many things, a highly respected surgeon, a CEO, a chairman, writer, public health researcher, professor, and more. He was born in 1965 and throughout his life until now, he has had the pleasure of working with many great people and for many great causes. 


He is the chairman of Lifebox, a non-profit organization that has the goal of reducing deaths in surgeries globally. His work as a professor includes teaching at Harvard and the CEO part involves a company called Haven, a healthcare venture capital firm. It’s not difficult to understand that this man knows quite a lot about medicine given his extensive portfolio.

Best Atul Gawande Books


Thanks to his vast knowledge and countless contributions to the medical field, Atul has had a lot of success with his writing as well. Some of the best books written by Atul Gawande include extensive research of certain medical fields which is exciting to read for many. Some of his most popular works include Being Mortal, The Checklist Manifesto, and many more. 

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End


Dealing With Problems

Not many people enjoy the thought of getting older and having to face and deal with the problems that follow along. However, it’s something that we can’t escape and will always be forced to look forward to, no matter if we enjoy it or not.

Quality Life

In this book, Atul covers this area widely and talks about what it means to have a quality life and to experience the last days as amazingly as possible. This is, in fact, one of the best-selling Atul Gawande books as many people who have someone elderly still in their family enjoy what this book has to say and the valuable information and insight it has to offer.

When Atul’s father was diagnosed with brain cancer, he put in a lot of time and research and discovered that even someone’s last days can be joyful and not miserable like it is in most cases.

What He Learned

A lot of various topics get tackled inside this book. There is mention of mortality as a general fact, how it’s not the most pleasant thing in the world to think about but also how to accept it and use it to our advantage.

A few other questions that get beautifully answered inside and ones that make this one of the best Atul Gawande books are the following: When is the right time to stop treatment? When is the right time to die?

Many more similar questions get mentioned here and there and although some people might be uncomfortable thinking about this, it’s better to start and accept it than to neglect the wonderful information this man is trying to share with the world. He has had first-hand experiences with all of this and it would be wise to hear what he learned. 

For the Elderly

To be honest, Being Mortal is among the best Atul Gawande books for someone who has an elderly person who is going through some rough times as this book is going to help you cope with the entire situation and also offer many great tips and a lot of insight on how to accept the matter and make the most out of it.

It helps you think positively about aging and the effects of aging, the whole process including the good and the bad that follow with it. On top of that, it helps you handle and control emotions, and it’s basically an entire process of realization that eventually makes you at peace with everything and helps understand this entirely natural part about life.

We Are Just Human

Sometimes people forget that we are human and not immortal, dying is a natural part of life and there is no other way than accepting this. On top of all the insight and realization that is a part of this wonderful book, there is also a lot of medical and technology talk.

However, Atul has taken the time to simplify everything so that everyone will have an easy time reading his book. This is the same with many of Atul Gawande’s best books. Overall, this is a beautifully written book, a must-read for many with the elderly in their family as it offers preparation for the inevitable and a great source of many insights and priceless information. 

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right


Effective Method

This is another book by Atul that is here to help others and offer a lot of useful information regarding medicine and life in general. It is also another one of Atul Gawande’s best-selling books, and here you can find out what it’s all about.

This book offers readers a method that Atul has discovered to be quite effective when it comes to getting things right in any field. As the title suggests, you will learn how the simple checklist, first introduced a few decades ago by the U.S. Air Force, seemed like the only thing that helped pilots learn and pilot one of the most sophisticated vehicles of that time.


To understand this simple way of getting things right, you need to take the time and read this book in which Atul offers a lot of tips and also first-hand experiences of how it has come in handy many times, some of which have been life or death experiences. This method has slowly gotten very popular and has been adapted to many fields, many sophisticated and busy hospitals, and similar.

When it comes to some of the best books by Atul Gawande, this one is a strong competitor as the valuable information inside is not to be taken for granted. The information is not something Gawande has a feeling works, it’s something he has tested for quite a while and something that he has found makes life very difficult without.

How Checklists Saved the Day

Imagine discovering something that makes a lot of processes a lot easier, something that reduces fail rates significantly and rises success rates through the rough. Sounds very appealing, doesn’t it?

This is not the biggest book Atul has written as it contains about 210 pages, but in those pages, you will discover content that can change your life, to prevent you from making mistakes, and much more.

What’s so wonderful about the book is that Atul has also included a lot of stories in which the checklists have saved the day and have continued saving the day ever since. He not only tells you stories from the field of medicine, but also from huge and dangerous construction sites, from dangerous experiences that involve drowning to investment banking, business, and much more.

Actual Results

Another important reason why this is also one of the best Atul Gawande books is that this best-seller has managed to help so many since its publication. Countless Atul Gawande book reviews have mentioned the results they’ve gotten from this wonderful man’s knowledge and research.

It would be one of the wisest choices you can ever make to hear what Atul has to say about all of this if you happen to be someone who has a job that involves putting your life at risk every day, managing high-risk activities and projects, and similar jobs. Work like this has no room for mistakes and the checklist is something that prevents you from ever making one that could be very costly to you and everyone around you.

Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science


Amazing Debut

Complications is Atul’s first book and the one that gathered many of his most loyal fans. This book led more people to discover this amazing doctor and writer. In Complications, one of the top Atul Gawande books ever, you get to read a series of anecdotes from his own past and what he has learned regarding practicing medicine and surgery.

New Yorker

For a first book, it will be easy to think that this man has been an author for his entire life. Well, let’s also not forget the fact that Atul was also a writer for a little magazine known as the New Yorker. The book is here to show readers the complications, mistakes, learning curves, and everything it takes to be good at something and all the rest that comes with it.

There will be three main sections that you can read as, in each, Atul guides you along the way and presents a lot of meaningful knowledge. These three sections are titled Fallibility, Mystery, and Uncertainty, and what’s inside easily makes this one of the best Atul Gawande books out there.


This is the first section of the book in which you get to read about a few stories from his own experience and what you and everyone else can learn from them. Fallibility means the tendency to make a mistake or be wrong. It is something that can happen everywhere, including in medicine. In fact, for beginners and new doctors, this is something that has a high probability of happening if caution is not present.

What this chapter will teach you and how it will be extremely helpful is by showing you the stories that Atul himself has lived and seen first-hand. There are many concepts, tips, tricks, and lessons that he has managed to remember throughout his career and life and all of that will be presented here for you to learn from other people’s and his own fallibility. 


This is the second section of the book and what you can expect here is a series of events that can be seen in the medical field and can only be explained as a mystery. Atul includes events such as blushing, nausea, pain, and similar. In the beginning, even now, he has seen cases in which there simply isn’t a logical diagnosis as to why the patient is blushing or nauseous. He calls this a mystery and explains how he and others deal with such a situation.


The final section of this book addresses the problem doctors have when it comes to making an important decision like making the right diagnosis, calling the shots on a serious matter, and similar scenarios. There is a lot in this book that can help both medical professionals and everyone else for that matter as the topic of uncertainty is familiar to many but solving the problem isn’t. 

Well, Atul tries to help everyone take control of this part of life which brings many added benefits later on. A great deal on the term autopsy is mentioned inside which is considered to be the final way to eliminate the uncertainty.

Expect Much More

However, that’s far from being everything that is discussed. You can expect many other methods of getting rid of uncertainty and becoming the person you have always wanted to be. This is one of Dr. Atul Gawande’s books you won’t want to miss if the mentioned topics are important to you. 

Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance


Be the Best

The final one of the best Atul Gawande health care books is called Better. From it, you can learn how to perform the best and reach what seem like impossible heights. It is also the book that follows Complications and is his second book. 

Problems With Performance

Many people experience problems with performance no matter what the field of expertise may be. Sometimes this happens after a while and sometimes it is right at the beginning.

What Atul wants you to know is that the problem with performance can be significantly more important when it comes to medicine, especially for a surgeon like himself. You can’t allow yourself to be indecisive, uncertain, and simply unproductive when it comes to surgery which is why it is important to be at your best performance at all times.

How to Become Better at It

This book is exactly what you need if you are currently in the same situation and state of mind. Increasing your performance can only bring good and better results, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Dr. Atul is here to bring you the tips, tricks, and knowledge that you are looking for.

All of the helpful tips inside, the real-life stories from others’ and his own experience, and everything else included is exactly why this book is another one of the best Atul Gawande books ever as the knowledge inside is simply priceless. You’d be surprised how much exciting content fits inside these 270 pages and how he manages to fit all of the essential information elegantly. So, what else can you expect to discover?

All of the Essentials

Everything that is necessary and all that Atul wants you to know to become better at what you are doing, not limited to only medicine as it can be applied to other branches as well, is right here in this book. It’s all presented very nicely and proves quite exciting to read. This mainly has to do with the fact that there are many examples of real stories like in many of Atul Gawande’s books. 

You get to read about surgical tents that are near battlefields in Iraq and the thrilling stories that have happened there. How you can succeed and increase performance despite all of the danger and pressure is simply outstanding to read about and learn from.

After that, Atul takes you to labor and delivery rooms across Boston, to a polio outbreak in India, to malpractice courtrooms across the country, and there is so much more that makes this book one of the most popular Atul Gawande books you can read. There is something to learn from everywhere he takes you to so you better start taking notes. 

A Must-Read for All

This book is, of course, meant mostly for medical professionals for whom it is critical to be at their best performance as slip-ups and errors in a field where they can cost lives is something everyone wants to steer clear from. This is the main reason why medical persons should take all of the advice offered in this book by Gawande and increase their performance so that it never comes to any unfortunate events, ever. 

However, all of the tips and insights inside, all of the example stories told, and everything else is a great way for many others to learn from. Increasing performance is a beautiful thing and can be beneficial to anyone.

The book can offer a lot of help for everyone who is seeking this benefit as the tips inside can be implemented and applied to almost any branch, field, or expertise. So, if you are trying to find the best Atul Gawande book for this sort of advice then look no further. 

Michael Englert

Michael is a graduate of cultural studies and history. He enjoys a good bottle of wine and (surprise, surprise) reading. As a small-town librarian, he is currently relishing the silence and peaceful atmosphere that is prevailing.