Patient safety

Atul Gawande

A surgeon and writer, Atul Gawande is a general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and the New Yorker magazine. He received his B.A.S. from Stanford University, M.A. (in politics, philosophy, and economics) from Oxford University, M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health. He served as a senior health policy advisor in the Clinton presidential campaign and White House from 1992 to 1993.

Atul is also Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Associate Director for the BWH Center for Surgery and Public Health. He has published research studies in areas ranging from surgical technique, to US military care for the wounded, to error and performance in medicine.

Since 2007 Atul has headed the WHO work to improve surgical safety worldwide, leading the Safe Surgery Saves Lives programme. This programme has led to the creation of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist which in a year long pilot study in eight hospitals worldwide has reduced deaths and complications following surgery by up to a third.