Surgeon to speak at UNC commencement

UNC News ServicesNovember 22, 2013 

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Dr. Atul Gawande will speak at UNC’s commencement exercises in May 2014.

ROSE LINCOLN — Harvard University News Office

— Dr. Atul Gawande, a celebrated surgeon and best-selling author, will deliver the spring commencement address May 11 in UNC’s Kenan Stadium.

“Dr. Atul Gawande’s remarkable career as a distinguished surgeon, writer and researcher is inspiring,” Chancellor Carol Folt said. “He is changing the future of medicine while also serving the public good.”

Gawande practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He is a professor in the department of health policy and management at the Harvard School of Public Health and professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School.

An accomplished surgeon, writer and speaker, Gawande offers audiences a unique perspective on the practice of medicine. He encourages incremental reforms that build on the strengths and limitations of the current healthcare system, and speaks on how to improve care and lower costs. He is the lead adviser for the World Health Organization’s Safe Surgery Lives Program, and is the founder and chairman of Lifebox, an international not-for-profit that implements systems and technologies to reduce surgical deaths globally.

Gawande has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1988. He has written three best-selling books. His most recent, “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right,” shows how even a simple five-point checklist can decrease up to two-thirds of intensive-care unit infections. He suggests that as modern medicine, and the modern world, becomes increasingly complex, the proper response is ever-simpler measures.

He has won the AcademyHealth’s Impact Award for highest research impact on health care and was named one of the world’s 100 most influential thinkers by Foreign Policy and TIME magazine. In 2006, he was named a MacArthur Fellow for his writing and efforts to improve surgical practices and medical ethics.

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