Some people are surgeons . . . some people are professors . . . some are international public health activists . . . some are researchers . . . some are staff writers at The New Yorker . . . and some even writers of award-winning international best sellers. But only you are all of these. (Excuse me, I think your cape is showing.) Your twin passions are to improve the care provided to patients—your own and others—and to show how healthcare, despite its technological advances and its business model, remains full of human fallibility, mystery, and uncertainty. Your research focuses on transforming safety and performance in surgery, in childbirth, and in the care of those who are dying, and particularly on the seemingly small steps that, because they are easily replicable, can have pervasive effects. You are lead advisor to the World Health Organization’s Safe Surgery Saves Lives Program and the founder and chairman of Lifebox, an international nonprofit working to reduce surgical deaths worldwide. No wonder that Time Magazine has named you one of the world’s top one hundred influential thinkers. Long may you continue to shine as such a public example of a healer who combines the best of both mind and heart.
I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Science, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.
June 3, 2012