Atul Gawande on surgery, writing, Obamacare, and indie music

Atul Gawande on surgery, writing, Obamacare, and indie music

I've wanted to do this interview for a long, long time.Atul Gawande is a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He's a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is executive director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally. He's a New Yorker writer. He's the author of some of my favorite books, including Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance and The Checklist Manifesto. He's a MacArthur Genius. Atul Gawande makes me feel like a slow, boring, unproductive person. What makes it worse is that he's a helluva nice guy, too. And he knows more new music than I do. There haven't been many conversations on this podcast I've looked forward to more, or enjoyed as much. Among many other things, we talked about:- How Atul makes time to do all of the writing, large-scale research, and surgery he does- His time working in Congress and in the White House- His writing process and how it’s evolved since his early days writing for Slate- Why he hates writing and likes being edited (and why I am the exact opposite)- His thoughts on ignorance, ineptitude, why we fail at things, and what hand washing has to do with it- How effective Medicaid coverage is in improving health outcomes- The ways we need to more effectively deliver existing knowledge and technology rather than always focusing on the next big discovery- What he thinks we’ve learned so far from Obamacare- How Rivers Cuomo from Weezer has applied lessons from Atul’s writing to his music- His work with the Clintons, Jim Cooper, and Al Gore and thoughts on their private versus public personas- How all the different parts of his life — the writing, the surgery, the policy work — come together into one single engine for actually making change- What new albums he thinks everyone should listen toAnd so much more. Talking to Atul was a real pleasure. I hope you enjoy it too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration: 1 hr 40 min

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