The Challenge

Medication errors alone cost an estimated US$ 42 billion annually. Unsafe surgical care procedures cause complications in up to 25% of patients resulting in 1 million deaths during or immediately after surgery annually. Investment in improving patient safety can lead to significant financial savings. The cost of prevention is much lower than the cost of treatment due to harm. As an example, in the United States alone, focused safety improvements led to an estimated US$28 billion in savings in Medicare hospitals between 2010 and 2015’ (WHO, 2019).

Risk Reduction in a synergetic and collaborative approach

A number of mitigation strategies can be derived and transferred from the aviation industry. Investigations after aircraft incidents and accidents have highlighted the need for gaining a deeper understanding of human error. The results are encouraging and an overall steady decrease in fatal accidents has been achieved. In 1977 for example, 4.2 airline accidents per 1 million flights have been recorded (Aviation Safety Net, 2019). This number has been reduced to a rate of 0.25 accidents per 1 million flights in 2017, resulting in a reduced rate of approximately 94%.


«I had the privilege to meet Mark as his MSc supervisor while in MSc studies at City, University of London. Like any excellent Swiss timepiece, Mark has been reliable and tireless in his work and a great companion in the pursuit of knowledge. With all and every feedback that has been considered and put to perfect use, the extent of his network in academia and industry has grown larger. His kind nature and humane approach have moved mountains and people alike. I am so grateful that our paths have crossed initially.»

Dr. Ivan Sikora
Associate Professor in Aviation
University of West London, London, UK
Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism


«Capt. Mark Roth has been a personal mentor for the past three years. His willingness to share with me his insights on how to master the daily challenges of working on the flight deck in a complex technical environment with ever-changing crews and a responsibility for hundreds of passengers have deeply impacted the way in which I apply a culture of communication, checks, feedback and reflection to optimize our working culture for the benefit of our main focus; the wellbeing of our patients. In aiming for success, Mark Roth has revealed to me the very importance to account for the human factor in everything we do.»

Gregory F. Jost, MD, Private Lecturer
Neurosurgeon and Head of Spinal Surgery
Spitalzentrum Biel/Bienne, Switzerland


«Captain Roth has kept passengers safe in the air for decades, and his experience and expertise are relevant to healthcare and keeping patients safe. He is an engaging speaker and knows how to connect with and motivate healthcare workers.»

Aaron Han, MD, PhD
Consultant Pathologist and past Interim COO,  American Hospital Dubai
Adjunct Professor, Mohammed bin Rashid University School of Medicine
Vice President, Emirates Pathology Society
Deputy International Commissioner, College of American Pathologists


«I have worked together with Mark for an international medical congress where Mark gave a talk on ‘aviation and medicine – what can we learn from each other?’ Mark has shown a very profound understanding of the opportunities and challenges in medicine and came-up with numerous examples how similar topics are addressed in the aviation industry (e.g. checklists, gradients and feedback). This has been very well received from the audience and triggered fruitful interdisciplinary discussions.  Mark is a winning personality and has a lot of passion for his profession and through that inspires others including myself.»

Dr. Eberhard Denk
Executive Director, AO Foundation


«I have been discussing issues about aviation safety with Mark for many years. With his own research Mark has brought relevant arguments forward and has opened the discussion across industries especially with the medical industry. He provides great insights from his experience as an A380 captain, instructor and examiner and his research about aviation safety.»

Dr. oec. HSG Andreas Wittmer
Center for Aviation Competence at University of St. Gallen


«As the organizer of a globally unique international spine tumor meeting with a faculty of world-leading experts in their field, I decided to invite Mark Roth for the opening speech with the title “Why I wish my surgeon has the competencies of a pilot”. Mark gave a fulminant talk on the challenges of maintaining resilient and evidence-based skills of pilots. Due to his deep expertise in the two worlds “Air Safety Management” and “ the medical operational processes”, he convinced with his profound analysis of the parallelism and gave us thought-provoking impulses on how this knowledge might impact and improve the future medical industry.»


Cordula Netzer, MD, Private Lecturer

University Hospital Basel

Senior consultant Spine Surgery

Deputy head Spine Center

Basel, Switzerland



«We had the privilege of winning Mark Roth for a workshop as part of our Leadership Program. In an impressive and authentic way, he conveyed the principles and benefits of open communication, feedback and error culture as well as effective leadership from the pilot’s perspective to more than 30 executives.  Mark showed how these topics can also be applied outside of the cockpit in everyday management. He convinced us with his enormous experience and passion. We are grateful that our crew was able to benefit from his know-how


Timo Plattner

Chief People Officer


Zurich, Switzerland


About Mark Roth

Capt. Mark Roth (54) had his first appearance at a medical conference at the AO Global Spine Congress in Dubai in April 2016. From there a collaborative journey with the medical industry has taken off and evolved into various research-based activities with universities, hospitals and surgeons around the globe. Capt. Mark Roth has a keen interest to share these concepts and to train successfully proven and transferable models to medical personnel. In order to do that, a continuous exchange with collaborative researchers is taking place and empirical observations i.e. in ORs provide him regularly with insights into the manifold challenges of the medical industry. His ultimate goal is to leverage the best of both industries and to make hospitals a safer place and teams more effective.

Past and Ongoing Projects


Master Thesis

City, University of London (pdf)


Presentation Report

AO Global Spine Congress 2016 (pdf)


Congress Poster

EANS 2018 Brussels (pdf)


Report Hospital Center Biel/Bienne

Report SZB, G & F (pdf)