The Challenge

Medication errors alone incur an estimated annual cost of US$42 billion. Unsafe surgical procedures result in complications for up to 25% of patients, leading to 1 million deaths annually during or immediately after surgery. Investing in enhancing patient safety can yield substantial financial savings. The expenses associated with prevention are significantly lower than those incurred for treating harm. For instance, in the United States, targeted safety enhancements resulted in estimated savings of US$28 billion in Medicare hospitals between 2010 and 2015 (WHO, 2019).

Risk Reduction in a synergetic and collaborative approach

Numerous mitigation strategies can be drawn from the aviation industry and applied elsewhere. Investigations following aircraft incidents and accidents have underscored the importance of attaining a deeper insight into human error. The outcomes are promising, leading to a consistent decrease in fatal accidents. For instance, in 1977, there were 4.2 airline accidents per 1 million flights recorded (Aviation Safety Net, 2023). By 2017, this figure had dramatically reduced to just 0.25 accidents per 1 million flights, marking an impressive decline 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’s (55) journey into the medical world began at the AO Global Spine Congress in Dubai back in April 2016. Since then, this collaboration with the medical industry has flourished, leading to numerous research-based initiatives with universities, hospitals, and surgeons across the globe. Mark Roth is passionate about sharing these concepts and training medical personnel in proven, transferable models. He maintains an ongoing dialogue with collaborative researchers and gains valuable insights through empirical observations in operating rooms, allowing him to better understand the diverse challenges of the medical field. His ultimate aim is to bridge the best practices of both industries, enhancing safety in hospitals and increasing the effectiveness of medical teams.

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)