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Atul Gawande

Kirsty Young interviews Atul Gawande, surgeon, writer and former Reith lecturer.

Kirsty Young's castaway is the surgeon, author and former Reith lecturer, Atul Gawande.

A general and endocrine surgeon in Boston, he is professor in both the Department of Health Policy & Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

Born in Brooklyn, he is the son of two doctors who came to the US to study medicine. After graduating from Stanford and studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, he embarked on a brief political career, working for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign and on his health and social policy in the White House following his election. When Clinton's health policy reform floundered, Atul returned to Harvard to finish the medical degree he'd started after Oxford.

During his surgical residency he began writing for the online magazine Slate and he's been writing for the New Yorker since 1998. His 2009 article "The Cost Conundrum" was cited by President Barack Obama during his attempt to get the healthcare reform legislation through Congress. Atul has published four books to date about the achievements, but also the limitations, of medicine.

In 2014 he presented the BBC's Reith Lectures, delivering a series of four talks titled The Future of Medicine.

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Available now

35 minutes

Last on

Fri 11 Dec 2015 09:00

Music Played

  • Stevie Ray Vaughan

    Love Struck Baby

    • Stevie Ray Vaughn And Double Trouble.
    • EPIC.
  • Stevie Wonder

    Sir Duke

    • Stevie Wonder: Number Ones.
    • MOTOWN.
  • Def Leppard


    • Pyromania.
    • VERTIGO.
  • X

    The Hungry Wolf

    • Under The Big Black Sun.
    • ELEKTRA.
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

    American Girl

    • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Greatest Hits.
    • MCA.
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood

    Two Tribes

    • Bang!....The Greatest Hits of Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
    • ZTT.
  • Weezer


    • Everything Will Be alright In The End.
    • Republic Records.

    • Radiohead


      • In Rainbows.
      • XL.

    The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy


    Pen & Journal


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Atul Gawande
Producer Cathy Drysdale


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