Airline pilots not possessed of a medical degree do not know how to practice medicine. But we have learned the hard way how to rely on each other and create a true collegial team that focuses on safety as our common goal, and we've created leaders who take pride in how well that leader can extract, orchestrate, and utilize all the human talent available to make better decisions and catch errors long before they hurt someone. Physicians, and health care in general, are borrowing heavily now from this reservoir of high-cost experience, and with any luck, and soon, hopefully, corporate America will wake up to the same principles.
John J. Nance, ABC News' aviation analyst, is a veteran 13,000-flight-hour airline captain, a former U.S. Air Force pilot and a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserves. He is also a New York Times best-selling author of 17 books, a licensed attorney, a professional speaker, and a founding board member of the National Patient Safety Foundation. A native Texan, he now lives in Tacoma, Wash.