In The Media

Planning with Perspective: A Healthcare Architect's Experience As 'Doctor for a Day'

watercolor of surgeons operating by jill bergman

"In my 27 years as a designer and planner, I've toured numerous facilities, shadowed staff, and had engaging conversations with healthcare professionals and community stakeholders, alike. However, I had never observed a surgery in an operating room from start to finish." — Jill Bergman, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, LEED AP, Health Principal, San Francisco

Reflecting on the experience of shadowing a heart surgeon, Jill shares takeaways she hopes other healthcare designers and planners can consider in their work, including: 

  • Materials Matter: Materials selection and color are equally important; a minor occurrence, such as finding a needle, can tremendously impact operations and safety. 
  • Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Though operating rooms are crowded with people and equipment, they must be designed to consider every movement and verbal and nonverbal communication. 
  • Hospitals are Diverse by Design, Planned with Purpose: Hospitals resemble small magical cities. To function at their highest level, designers must design things right to make great things possible.

Read Jill's first-person narrative in the January/February issue of Medical Construction & Design Magazine and be mesmerized by her watercolor artwork depicting moments from the day. 

Jill Bergman
Senior Health Strategist