Atul Gawande's bold visions for improving performance and safety in healthcare have made him one of the most sought-after speakers in medicine. His three books, Complications, Better, and The Checklist Manifesto, have all been highly praised inside and outside the medical community. His new book is Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. TIME placed him among the world's 100 most influential thinkers. He is a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship winner, a New Yorker columnist, an author — but, most of all, a physician, with a practitioner's grasp of the everyday challenges of healthcare delivery.
Atul explains that medical practice and philosophy has not kept pace with the changes in healthcare over the last hundred years. We need reform — and Atul is on a lifelong search to discover what shape that reform should take. What does an effective healthcare system look like in the 21st century? How can we improve quality, manage risk, and measure performance more effectively? Atul brings an eloquence and an intellect to these questions that allow him to offer deeply considered and beautifully expressed solutions with implications for healthcare and beyond.
Dr. Gawande is broadly known for his influential articles, two of which won him the National Magazine Award. He has written about the shift from lone-ranger physicians to teams of co-operating specialists, and the new values this shift requires. He popularised the checklist as a means of co-ordinating complex work in hospitals. His ideas about how to rein in healthcare costs while increasing efficiency and quality have transformed the national discussion of these issues. His writing sets itself apart by its depth of thought and research, but also by its willingness to look outside of healthcare and see how other fields have delivered high-quality service in complex industries.
Atul is a general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and a professor in both the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard School of Public Health and the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He is the Executive Director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit making surgery safer globally. He has won AcademyHealth's Impact Award for highest research impact on health care, and the Lewis Thomas Award for Writing about Science.
A worldwide leader in investment banking:
Dr Gawande was absolutely outstanding in his speech on Friday, fascinating reflections on the bigger issues facing all top professional industries, charismatic and insightful.
Inspired and inspiring choice to have Atul Gawande speak yesterday. Great content and the analogies to our own business were striking. Thank you for arranging.
This forum is incredibly relevant. We should really adopt this... Fantastic speaker.
A medical billing and practice management provider:
Dear Atul — Thank you so much for an inspired and insightful keynote address and break-out discussion.
You helped us launch an incredibly productive and energized 2 and a half-day conference.
We heard very positive and enthusiastic feedback about your remarks throughout the conference — and you clearly inspired the attendees (and all of us) to help meet the vision of "making healthcare work the way it should".
An event organiser for a large multinational IT corporation:
Just a quick email to thank you again for doing such an outstanding job speaking at last week’s [...] Conference in Vegas. All of the feedback from your presentation has been incredibly positive – our [...] clients, the attendees, even my [...] colleagues, have all been raving about your participation in the Conference, and all of the tweets have also been really terrific. But there have been a couple of negatives...only that you didn’t speak longer. So all good! Thanks again for being so great, both on-stage and off, and know I look forward to the next one which I hope is soon. And I now have both Complications and Better on my to-do reading list! Thanks again.
A medical products company:
- most patient man, never a hair out of place, calm as a cucumber, spoke with every person, signed every book
- stories so compelling, amazing, unbelievable, still in awe
- the emotion he evokes is almost spiritual
- such a wonderful, wonderful man
- can't say enough positive things about him
- even better than we imagined
- amount of emails I have received in the last 48 hours are remarkable
- people are having meetings right away, changing practices, that is when everyone wins in every way a terrific experience
A membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices:
- awesome, awesome, awesome
- great message
- really understood our issues and the direction our organization is going
- the best event we have ever had
A health organisation:
I just wanted to let you know that Dr. Gawande did a spectacular job yesterday. He was very gracious about spending time with our physicians and answering questions during the Q & A and talking with fans during the book signing.
A national health insurance association:
He is amazing....come on. Nothing else to say. He has to be one of your best speakers. No, really terrific. Many thanks.
A challenging business audience:
Atul's presentation was outstanding — well prepared, well organized, and well delivered. He used compelling stories and informative slides and video clips to illustrate his points. In response to the needs of our audience, he touched on how the concepts he presented could apply in other industries in addition to healthcare. And the Q&A was quite rich — Atul was articulate, thoughtful, and thorough in responding to questions.
The afternoon keynote slot can be challenging, because it comes at the end of the second full day of the conference. From what I could tell, Atul fully held the audience's attention. There was a full audience — we had 650 in attendance this year.
So, in summary, Atul exceeded the high expectation I had for his presentation. Unlike some speakers who have a canned presentation for every audience, he listened to our needs and tailored his presentation.
A dental education association:
It was a huge success. He was so personable and articulate. He stayed and signed books afterward and we sold out. I would definitely recommend him. Our members felt that he was intelligent speaker and made the large hall venue seem intimate.
A national healthcare insurance company:
Gawande was very very well received by a very picky group. He scored 4.87/5.0 on content and presentation and 4.91/5.0 on delivery.
Some of the comments:
- One of the best presentations ever at this meeting
- It got me thinking
- Great presenter
- Very motivational
- Outstanding topic
- Please have him back
- Superb talk
- Very educational
- Wonderful message and delivery
- I'd like to hear him again
- Excellent presentation
- Everybody loved him!
Scores were essentially perfect, you could hear a pin drop during the talk - people were hanging on every word, he touched on initiatives specific to [our association], and was very generous sticking around afterward to answer everyone's ?s, he was a breath of fresh air, everyone was very happy, all just wonderful, wonderful things about him.
A major health services corporation:
Amazing! We really, really loved him. He received super-high marks on the evals, too. Everyone was very pleased! Try and find me someone like that for next year!
A gathering of lawyers in healthcare:
- Excellent! This was the best keynote address ever. I also enjoyed receiving and reading the book sent in advance; thanks to the people who brought Gawande to speak to us.
- Fascinating presentation and perspective
- Simply outstanding, could have listened for 2+ hours
- The best keynote speaker in years;
- This was one of the best keynotes I’ve heard, the conference is so focused on detail, it is helpful to have a speaker telling a story to provide context for its opening
- Best program ever heard!
- Best keynote ever!
- Brilliant choice! excellent, though-provoking speaker
- Exceptional, very informative and engaging, A+ speaker
- He was terrific, common sense, practical, engaging and refreshing, much better than a "policy work" type as in the past
A satisfied customer:
People mobbed him afterward
So kind about it
He was top items in evaluations
I can't tell you how much people liked the books
You are a rare find
A sincere thank you
A healthcare chronic care initiative:
- The keynote speaker was exemplary, what a perfect way to tie up the meeting
- Dr. Gawande is an awesome speaker, congrats to whoever got him to come and be a speaker
- Absolutely excellent keynote speaker
- The keynote speaker was extraordinary – I would be privileged to work with him
- Atul Gawande was fabulous! I would like to hear more about the future of the Blueprint
- The keynote made it all worth it
A health care system:
He was absolutely fabulous. Excellent. Such a nice man, he even hung around after the event. We had purchased books for the attendees and he signed them all. Far surpassed our needs. An excellent presentation.
A partners' retreat at a major law firm:
Spectacular, blew everyone away. People were completely mesmerized by his presentation. He never missed a beat. The delivery and performance was outstanding.
One of the Senior Managing Partners commented that Gawande was the best single speaker they have EVER had, ever at a retreat.
I think it was unanimous that Atul was terrific. He was fascinating and his open, honest demeanor was very winning.
Many partners have since bought his book and loved it.
A major HMO:
900 attendees, not one negative comment.
Very very very pleased, an A+.
Fabulous, provocative, great perspective, humbling, intriguing, a treat to meet him.
The CEO was delighted.
An event sponsored by the hospitals run by a university:
He's fresh, smart, had good content, was a delight at lunch. He is so unaffected...he seemed totally happy to talk to Med Students and Dept Chairs and Trustees and nurses. He signed a lot of copies of his book.
No negative feedback at all. Everyone seemed genuinely pleased.
An institute of the energy industry:
Atul Gawande was one of the highlights of our conference. He delivered a very compelling message, and we were pleased at his willingness to prepare in advance and have a conference call with myself, our Chairman and our CEO. We spoke to him an hour one day prior to the presentation. I have to tip my hat to Susan Cramer, his assistant. he was incredibly responsive and helpful-unbelievably so! I have never worked with someone so quick to respond and helpful as Susan, and I made sure Atul was aware of that. His presentation style at the event was great-easy to work with in terms of his A/V, it couldn't have gone better!