Massachusetts Medical Society: Atul Gawande, M.D., M.P.H. is honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society with its Award for Excellence in Public Health

Atul Gawande, M.D., M.P.H. is honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society with its Award for Excellence in Public Health


Waltham, Mass. – March 10th – Atul A. Gawande, M.D., M.P.H., surgeon, public health researcher, and a leading advocate on health care and health system reform, has been honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society as the 2017 recipient of the Henry Ingersoll Bowditch Award for Excellence in Public Health. He will receive the award, one of the Society’s most prestigious honors, at the organization’s annual meeting April 28 in Boston.

Named after a leading figure in medicine and public health in the 19th century, the award is presented annually to a Massachusetts physician who demonstrates creativity, commendable citizenship, initiative, innovation and leadership in the public health and advocacy fields.  

In nominating him for the award, his colleagues recognized that Dr. Gawande is “leading a revolution in our approach to the care of individuals with life-limiting illnesses” and that because of his “comprehensive understanding of the forces working in healthcare, his expertise as a general and endocrine surgeon, and his eloquence as a speaker and a writer, the care of people with potentially life-limiting illness is becoming more compassionate and patient-centered.” 

Dr. Gawande is the Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, a Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a practicing surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

He is also Executive Director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, Chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally, and co-founder and co-chair of the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care, a group committed to ensuring that health care for everyone in the Commonwealth reflects their goals, values and preferences.

A graduate of Stanford University with a B.S.S. and Oxford University with an M.A., Dr. Gawande received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his M.P.H. from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He was selected as a Rhodes Scholar in 1987, a MacArthur Fellow in 2007, and a member of the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) in 2011. 

He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and an editorial reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine, Surgery, and Annals of Surgery.  The recipient of numerous medical and literary awards, including two National Magazine Awards, he has written four New York Times bestsellers - Complications, Better, The Checklist Manifesto, and Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. He has been named one of the hundred most influential thinkers by Foreign Policy and TIME.

The Massachusetts Medical Society, with some 25,000 physicians and student members, is dedicated to educating and advocating for the patients and physicians of Massachusetts. The Society, under the auspices of NEJM Group, publishes the New England Journal of Medicine, a leading global medical journal and web site, and Journal Watch alerts and newsletters covering 13 specialties. The Society is also a leader in continuing medical education providing accredited and certified activities across the globe for physicians and other health care professionals.  Founded in 1781, MMS is the oldest continuously operating medical society in the country. For more information please visit,, or  

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