Cowboys and Pit Crews

/ 31.May, 2011

I highly recommend reading the text of Atul Gawande’s commencement address at Harvard Medical School.  Mr. Gawande discusses the value of team-work for highly specialized professionals.  Although addressed to doctors, there is resonance for attorneys and other professionals.  The core issue in the address is that the training for the profession comes from a time when doctors could hold all of the information a patient needed in their head, but no doctor can do that with the breadth of knowledge in medicine today.  As a result, the best care is given by teams of highly specialized practitioners who effectively communicate between themselves.  Mr. Gawande, the author of the checklist manifesto, also emphasizes the efficacy of checklists.  Some very good food for thought on how to be a better professional, and being a better professional is the first line of professional liability defense.

Josh J.T. Byrne, Esquire