Modern Hospitals, Airports, Surgeons, and Pilots: What Do They Have in Common?

  • Rifat LatifiEmail author
  • Shekhar Gogna
  • Elizabeth H. Tilley


Performing complex surgery or being a successful and safe clinician is much like flying a plane. Both take an enormous amount of training, which at times can be grueling. Surgery itself can be dangerous and time-pressured, and while much of it depends on surgical decision-making and the technical skills of the surgeon, other factors and nontechnical elements contribute to the success of an operation. While surgeons and pilots also undergo extensive training, they are required to use a skill that is difficult to quantify, that of situational awareness. Because of the critical nature of these two positions, they are very similar in many ways. The institutions within which they operate are also similarly complex; however, they differ greatly in their effectiveness of communication and efficiency. This chapter explores how hospitals can learn from airports.


Airport model Hospital effectiveness Situational awareness Hospital quality Hospital safety Surgeons Pilots Morbidity and mortality conference Route cause analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rifat Latifi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shekhar Gogna
    • 2
  • Elizabeth H. Tilley
    • 2
  1. 1.New York Medical CollegeSchool of Medicine, Department of Surgery and Westchester Medical CenterValhallaUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryWestchester Medical CenterValhallaUSA

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