idea · Inspiring people

Atul Gawande and his lessons

I’ve just listened to a nice podcast from freakonomics radio, featuring Atul Gawande. He discusses the complexity of healthcare system and how he attempts to tackle various problems in healthcare and medical practice using as simple as possible strategy. Interested in his talk, I’m searching who is this Atul Gawande. Turns out, he is a cancer surgeon, a public-health researcher, and a best-seller book writer. What a person! (and how silly I am for knowing this late).


Anyway, then I watched his TED-talks above, which is very interesting for me. I’ll just write some of the lessons I got from that video as a reminder for myself.

  • I love how he brings a small cheatsheet for his presentation. I believe he’s a good speaker and storyteller, but look at how he’s still prepared for his points of the presentation.
  • Coaching is important to become the best version of you. I personally relate to this topic. I currently start learning a pretty new subject for myself, and true, it was so difficult without a mentor or coach who can give me a feedback for what I’m learning.
  • Execution of a planning. A good planning is not enough without a good execution. In the video, Gawande shows how a good execution of baby-birth checklist dramatically reduces the birth-complication. However, to conduct a good execution means to beat one’s resistance to a change. I think this is more difficult than making a good planning.
  • When I first visit a doctor in the US, I was overwhelmed by the checklist the doctor needed to do when examined such simple flu-like symptoms. After watched Gawande’s video, I started to understand that such systematic procedure is there to avoid any misdiagnose, even for an ‘easy’ illness. I wonder, this kind of checklist might be suitable to apply in Indonesia drugstore, whether or not to give an OWA (obat wajib apotek) for the patient (or is it something similar has been used, yet?)

Looking forward to reading his books and contemplating more of Gawande’s idea.

cancer · Inspiring people

Story from Herceptin

Herceptin, as known as trastuzumab, is such a famous drug among cancer therapy field. Claimed as one pioneer of cancer targeted therapy, many researches are subjected to compete the succeed of Herceptin. Tonight I just found this video, about story of Herceptin, as described by Prof. Susan Desmond-Hellmann.

Just realize that I know nothing about cancer therapy, pardon me; though now I am a student studying about cancer therapy T_T . I’ve just known that the story of Herceptin has been started since 1991, as old as me! Yes, it is a long journey to found a great drug. And by watching this video, I’m kinda get some spirit to always fight for my study *I know it’s such a hyperbola*. I had background as pharmacist and now choose basic bio as my field of study. But as she said: “Great drug development requires that you have a deep understanding of basic science“. This video also bring another inspiration for me, that she told about her experiences in Uganda and got much inspiration there. Seems like a great experiment is not only come from the lab, but also about how we will implemented the result. Imagination about the implementation will direct and always inspire us.

Well, the conclusion for me now: basic science is important; also getting experiences outside the bench! (i.e. travelling :p )