POLITICO's Pulse Check

Atul Gawande on Washington, writing and what really matters

Episode Summary

"If I can leave behind a series of things that help reshape how we think about what happens at the end of your life, and what we really think about health care rights or where we're going with costs ... that's my shot, as long as I can do that."

Episode Notes

Atul Gawande doesn't really need an introduction — but if PULSE CHECK were to provide one, it would highlight his work as a New Yorker writer, researcher, best-selling author, surgeon and founder of two non-profits. (Among other responsibilities.)

Atul sat down with POLITICO's Dan Diamond to discuss how he manages his schedule (starts at the 2:05 mark), his book "Being Mortal" and how he thinks its lessons have resonated (5:50), his perspective on politics and public health (11:20), his early career as a Hill staffer and Clinton-era appointee at HHS (18:00), whether he'd ever take a job in D.C. again (26:00) and his writing process (28:00). Plus, stick around to hear Atul answer PULSE CHECK listener questions, which starts at the 40:20 mark.

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Have questions, suggestions or feedback? Email ddiamond@politico.com.

Stories and book referenced on the podcast:

Atul's 2015 book, "Being Mortal": https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JCW0BCY/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Atul's 2009 story, "The Cost Conundrum": https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/06/01/the-cost-conundrum

Atul's 2009 story, "Hellhole": https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/03/30/hellhole