HSPH’s Atul Gawande tells the evolving story of surgery over the past two hundred years

In an article marking the bicentennial of The New England Journal of Medicine, Harvard School of Health Prof. Atul Gawande described the evolution of surgery since 1812, from quick and bloody battlefield amputations to new experiments in non-invasive procedures using nanotechnology. Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, pioneered a simple safety checklist that surgeons can use to reduce patient deaths and complications.

In his May 3, 2012 article, Gawande writes that “over the past two centuries, surgery has become radically more effective, and its violence substantially reduced — changes that have proved central to the development of mankind’s abilities to heal the sick.”

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A simple checklist that saves lives (Harvard Public Health Review)

More than two billion people worldwide lack access to surgical services (HSPH release)