Adjunct Professor of Health Policy
Lucian Leape is a health policy analyist whose research has focused on patient safety and quality of care. Prior to joining the faculty at Harvard in 1988, he was Professor of Surgery and Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine and the New England Medical Center. Dr. Leape is internationally recognized as a leader of the patient safety movement, starting with the publication in JAMA of his seminal article, Error in Medicine, in 1994. His subsequent research demonstrated the success of the application of systems theory to the prevention of adverse drug events. In addition, he has directed research into overuse and underuse of cardiovascular procedures. He has published over 100 papers on patient safety and quality of care.
He has been an outspoken advocate of the nonpunitive systems approach to the prevention of medical errors and he has talked and written widely about the need to make patient safety a national priority. He has testified many times before Congress and served on numerous public and private organizational boards and committees. Dr. Leape was one of the founders of the National Patient Safety Foundation, the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Error, and the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Session on Medical Error. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Quality of Care in America Committee, which published “To Err is Human” in 1999 and “Crossing the Quality Chasm” in 2001.
Recent honors include the Distinguished Service Award of the American Pediatric Surgical Association, the Donabedian Award from the American Public Health Association, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator’s Award in Health Policy Research, and honorary fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has been honored with leadership awards from the American Society of Healthsystems Pharmacists, the American Pharmaceutical Association, and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. In 2003 he received the duPont Award for Excellence in Children’s Health Care. In 2004, he received the John Eisenberg Patient Safety Award and Modern Healthcare named him as one of the 100 most powerful people in health care.
Dr Leape is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Medical School. He trained in surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and in pediatric surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital.
AB, Cornell University, 1952
MD,cum laude, Harvard Medical School, 1959