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Atul Gawande Slow Ideas Analysis

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In the article, “Slow Ideas”, Atul Gawande utilizes personal and historical anecdotes to further strengthen his claims. He often transitions between stories by asking the audience a critical question and then providing his stance on this issue. This strategy allows for a paper that flows well, and also maintains a high level of interest from the audience. This is because the questions often cause the reader to stop and think about their own take on the situation. After posing a question, Gawande then transitions into explaining the problem through the use of a narrative example. These personal anecdotes allow for a connection to form between Gawande and his audience - thus accomplishing a level of trust. Gawande begins his article by…show more content…
The first story described by Gawande shows how anesthesia “spread like a contagion, traveling through letters, meetings, and periodicals. By mid-December, surgeons were administering ether to patients in Paris and London. By February, anesthesia had been used in almost all the capitals of Europe, and by June in most regions of the world.” He uses this even to show the qualities embodied by anesthesia that lead to its quick spread. Unlike carbolic acid, which had lasting beneficial effects on the patient, the use of anesthesia spread quickly because it “made life better for doctors.” This is one of the major factors Gawande explores as a reason for why some innovations spread faster than others. Often times, innovations that have a short-term and visibly beneficial effect are favored in the industry more than those who have a long-term effect. Gawande uses his trip to a hospital in India, where “less than ten percent of the newborns were given adequate warming” to further strengthen this claim. Newborns in India were not examined for health risks that could come up in the future but were instead checked for physical ailments that affected them now. It’s not that the nurses and doctors don’t care, it 's just that they have to prioritize problems based on visibility due to the time constraints. Personal anecdotes like these allow for the audience to feel as if they can trust the information being set forth by
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