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Sanjay Gupta on doctors and the mistakes they make

Larry Mantle with Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the AirTalk studio.
Larry Mantle with Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the AirTalk studio.

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a practicing neurosurgeon best known as CNN’s chief medical correspondent. Now, Gupta has written his first novel called “Monday Mornings.” The title refers to the meetings surgeons attend, in which they discuss and justify the life and death decisions they’ve made during recent operations.

The book provides a unique look into the high-pressure world of modern medicine. We all know surgeons make mistakes and that sometimes people die because of those mistakes. But when it comes time for surgeons to answer for bad outcomes, the operation takes placed behind tightly closed doors.

These Monday morning meetings or “Morbidity and Mortality” conferences provide the dramatic backdrop to Gupta’s novel, in which he pulls back the curtain on the secretive process, revealing the lives of five surgeons as they try to cope with their personal and professional failings. How much fact is mixed into this fictional tale? What’s the takeaway for doctors and patients alike?