Atul Gawande (born November 5, 1965) is an American surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. In public health, he is executive director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit that works on reducing deaths in surgery globally. On June 20, 2018, Dr. Gawande was named the CEO of a recently-formed healthcare venture owned by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase.
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One day Joseph Lister was summoned to assist a wealthy lord with a fishbone that had lodged at the back of his throat. After Lister had skillfully removed the obstruction, the grateful patient asked him what he was owed. "My lord," Lister suggested, "suppose we settle for half of what you would be willing to give me if the bone were still lodged in your throat.