I recently watched a Ted Talk by Atul Gawande called, “How do we heal medicine?” He talked a lot about what is broken in our medical system and how we can fix it. One thing he emphasized was the importance of not skipping over minor details that could greatly impact patient outcomes. This was especially true for surgery, leading him to create a “Surgical Safety Checklist” that has improved surgery successes and avoided costly problems. The checklist includes everything from making sure the OR staff knows each other by name to checking patient allergies and the location of the surgery. While these may seem like simple tasks that one would assume no one forgets, they can easily get overlooked due to their simplicity.
One thing that I took away from Dr. Gawande’s talk was the importance of not overlooking the small things. In his case, he discovered that a simple checklist can help out with that. I found this to be applicable in many areas of life from medicine to responsibilities at home, to how you interact with people during casual conversation. Having a checklist, whether it is a mental or physical one, is a small way to make a big difference. I started using a daily checklist to keep myself on track with studying, blogging, and personal growth. Medical school and working as a medical professional can be a lot to juggle, so it is nice to have a simple checklist to keep things in order and take a little bit of stress off.