The Checklist Effect – Boston Screening

About 200 students from medical schools around Boston joined in the HMS Amphitheater on August 28th for the screening of the Checklist Effect documentary. The screening was hosted by the Boston chapters of the Global Surgery Student Alliance (GSSA) and sponsored by the Kletjian Foundation. Students came from Harvard, Boston University, and Tufts medical schools as well as other undergraduate colleges around the Boston area. The focus of the screening was to impress upon the importance of quality, safety, and ethics in global surgery.

<Prachi Patel>

The screening began with opening remarks from Kris Torgeson, Global CEO of Lifebox, who described to the audience what brought upon the idea of the Checklist effect. The Lifebox partners for years have been helping to deliver safer surgery projects across the world. However, delivering stories of these projects and experiences has not always been an easy task. The Checklist effect, based off the development of the Surgical Safety Checklist by surgeon, author, and Lifebox founder Dr. Atul Gawande, allows for an impactful story to be told to audiences across the world. Thus, accomplishing a crucial step in creating safer access to surgery globally.

The documentary screening itself discussed the quality, safety, and ethics in global surgery, especially in low-resource countries. It focused on the implementation of the surgical safety checklist under different settings, and how this implementation changed the lives of not only the doctors and nurses running the OR, but also the patients and their family. The documentary not only lets the audience into OR’s across the world, but also gives insight into the struggles faced by doctors and patients alike when proper resources are not provided.

Following the hour long screening of the documentary, audience members were able to attend a panel discussion on global surgery. The panelists included Dr. Atul Gawande, Chairman of Lifebox and Executive Director at Ariadne Labs, Dr. Brian O’Gara, Global Anesthesiologist at Beth Israel, Dr. Sabrina Sanchez, Global Trauma Surgeon at Boston Medical Center, and Dr. Victoria Mui, Global OB/GYN at Tufts Medical Center. Discussion revolved around the future direction of the surgical safety checklist, the experiences as a global surgeon, and how medical students can become advocates for change. The final keynote was given by Parisa Fallah, a second year medical student at Harvard Medical School and National Chair of GSSA, who gave a wonderful closing to the event and provided information regarding similar future events.

Undoubtedly it is within your power to contribute significantly to shaping the societies of the coming century; youth can move the world.”- Paris Fallah

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