Mediocrity and Its Causes: A Surgeon’s Notes on Medical Performance (Note: McCosh Hall 10)
November 13, 2007 – 8:00 p.m. Walter Edge Lecture
The lecture will consider the idea of performance in medicine and the problem of wide
variability of results among different hospitals and doctors. It will also discuss the new
direction of public health efforts here and abroad to reduce that variability. Dr. Gawande is a general and endocrine surgeon and a writer. He served as senior health policy adviser to the Clinton campaign and the White House from 1992 to 1993 before earning his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1995. Currently he is a staff member of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He is also associate professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He has published numerous research studies on surgical technique, the care of military casualties, and medical error and performance. Since 1998 he has been a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine. Winner of a MacArthur Award in 2006 he has published Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, a finalist for the National Book Award. Editor of the The Best American Science Writing 2006, his most recent book is Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance.