The Velluvial Matrix – Atul Gawande’s commencement address at Stanford

Atul Gawande is a surgeon who is a gifted writer.   Most of his writing, and his research focus, is on prevention of medical errors.  I really think his books should be part of the standard curriculum for any medical student or resident.  If you haven’t read them, I really encourage you to do so!   Atul Gawande’s Amazon page.  

The following is an excerpt from his commencement address to Stanford Medical School. 

“The experience of a medical and scientific education is transformational. It is like moving to a new country. At first, you don’t know the language, let alone the customs and concepts. But then, almost imperceptibly, that changes. Half the words you now routinely use you did not know existed when you started: words like arterial-blood gas, nasogastric tube, microarray, logistic regression, NMDA receptor, velluvial matrix.

O.K., I made that last one up. But the velluvial matrix sounds like something you should know about, doesn’t it? And that’s the problem. I will let you in on a little secret. You never stop wondering if there is a velluvial matrix you should know about.”

Here’s the link to the full text: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2010/06/gawande-stanford-speech.html#ixzz0sFMCpJsb

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