Health Care Needsa New Kindof Hero

An Interview with Atul Gawande

by Gardiner Morse

IN HIS LATEST BOOK, The Checklist Manifesto, surgeon and writer Atul Gawande describes how asking some simple questions before surgery starts—such as “Did we give the patient her antibiotic?” and even “Did we introduce ourselves to one another?”—can reduce infections and deaths by more than a third. Easy as this exercise is, it’s often met with hostility, because it challenges doctors’ cherished notions about status, autonomy, and expertise. In this edited interview, HBR senior editor Gardiner Morse asks Gawande what checklists reveal about the culture of medicine and how its dysfunctions might be fixed.

HBR: Despite doctors’ resistance to new ideas, surgical ...

Get Leadership, Strategy, and Innovation: Health Care Collection (8 Items) now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.