Humanities at the Bedside

Connections - Session C

Why Boston Hospitals Were Ready


The Check-list


The Coach in the Operating Room


These three articles explore medicine not as an individual endeavor but more akin to a team sport, with an emphasis on what doctors can gain with deliberate practice, a reliance on checklists, and directly observed coaching. Although not explicitly stated in each article, the role of connections among staff members and even remotely operating agencies and systems is a common theme with all of these pieces.

Guiding Discussion:

  1. Do you find safety drills, protocol, and checklists cumbersome to your practice setting, or do they offer efficiency in a chaotic and fragmented environment?
  2. In the last article, Atul Gwande seeks out a coach, leading to some surprising insights. What do you think of the reaction of the patient in the end of the article?
  3. Do you feel that emergency medicine physicians would benefit from having coaches? In which areas would you want help from a professional coach?


Who would you consider the most influential person in your career? Write a thank you letter describing why… and consider sending it. 



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