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'Success requires will, attention to detail, and creativity'

May 18, 2007
MacArthur Genius, Atul Gawande, 41, a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, is also a staff writer for The New Yorker.

Educated at Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar, Gawande went on to study medicine at Harvard. Today he is an assistant professor at the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.

In October 2003, he writes in the new book, Better, A Surgeon's Notes on Performance, about returning from India after spending two-and-a-half months with surgeons and patients in several areas.

As he began his career as a general and endocrine surgeon, and started seeing patients again after his Indian sojourn, he began to think about 'how small one's place in the world inevitably proves to be.'

Physicians like him, he mused, are far removed from planning a polio mop-up for 4.2 million children in southern India (an operation he had observed in some parts) or inventing ways to save the lives of soldiers.

The author and MacArthur Genius spoke to Managing Editor (Features) Arthur J Pais.

Image: Atul Gawande at the Barnes & Noble in Lincoln Centre, New York.
Photograph: Paresh Gandhi

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