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Checklist Manifesto

On Another Place

It’s going to have to be a rapid post, today, I’m afraid.

I wanted to tell you about a great book that I’m currently reading. It’s called “The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right” and it’s by Atul Gawande, a surgeon and writer. There are a number of reasons that I am enjoying this book so much:

I would urge you all to find a copy and be bemused, surprised and fascinated in equal measures at how such a simple concept can have such dramatic results.

Trust your Surgeon Human or Machine

On Cancerveil

Da Vinci Robotic Surgeon

Robotic Arms and Stainless Steel Surgeons

In the last scene of the film “The Empire Strikes Back” we find ourselves on the medical deck of a star cruiser looking out at the vastness of galaxies. A robot surgeon puts the finishing touches on the robotic hand it has attached to a human. Luke Skywalker looks up at the robot with a slight smile that says “I’m going to be alright, right?” He flexes his fingers and grasps a time in science fiction where robotic care givers and complete trust in these machines are the norm. It mirrors our present time where we are asked to put aside our fear. We are asked to trust in technology, superhuman skill, and expanding galaxies of innovation. But do we trust completely?

In my case, from the standpoint of the work needing to be done, man and science came through one hundred percent. The Da Vinci Robotic Surgeon is a huge step in medical science and patient care. Controlled by a skilled human surgeon it is capable of precise movements, wielding miniaturized surgical tools with a range far beyond human hands. And it does not tire or tremble. It is minimally invasive and the recovery time for the patient post surgery is dramatically reduced. Not “Long Long Ago” but here and now we find a collaboration of surgeon and machine that is complimentary and balanced.

The surgeons that guide the machines have moved beyond the ordinary. Skilled and knowledgeable they have steadfast nerves, reflexes like a coiled spring, and judgment honed on a razors edge. And their assessment of what must be done is as unforgiving as steel.

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