Occupation: Surgeon, author and public-health official
Previous TIME 100 Appearances: 0
President Obama toted Gawande's June 2009 New Yorker article on disparities in health care spending around the White House last year, recommending it to staff and citing it in a speech to the American Medical Association. But even without that endorsement, the story would have been one of the most important pieces of journalism published during the health care debate. It exposed the inefficiencies in the U.S. health care system by drawing not only on reporting but also on expertise that only a medical doctor could bring. Gawande, a Harvard-educated endocrine surgeon, has now published his third best seller, The Checklist Manifesto. Off the page, his work as an official for the World Health Organization is reorganizing surgical protocol across the globe, making it safer and saving lives in the process.