When Tiger Woods addresses the ball, he's focused like a cat that heard a rustle in the leaves. He takes a few practice swings, moves up to position, adjusts his feet, steadies his shoulders, locks his eyes onto the target. He waits until there's absolute silence, brings his breathing under control, funnels all his energy into the impending swing; takes the club back, and explodes in an immensely balletic movement. ...

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A few months ago I read an essay by Dr. Herbert Fred of Houston, Texas. After reading his essay, "Medical Education on the Brink," I was inspired to start a revolution in surgical education. His essay ends with the following recommendation:

“…raise the bar of performance in all training programs to a distinctly higher level, with excellence as the perpetual goal.”
As the Fourth of July approached, I began to view his ...

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Brought to you by MedPage Today. 1. Med Students Who Shadow Surgeons Keener on Surgery. Medical student interest in critical care surgery has fallen since the 1980s, but shadowing surgeons on a busy night bolstered enthusiasm in a small group. 2. Second-Hand Smoke, Asthma Link Remains. Children with asthma were more likely to be exposed to second-hand smoke than those without the disease. 3.
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I started seeing patients the moment we arrived at Apollo Hospital in the small rural town of Bilaspur. There was no time to rest. These patients had been waiting for us for weeks to arrive. It was during this clinic time, on this day, that I realized something that really struck me to the core. I have been to India to do these missions many times. Heck, I have been ...

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Helpless. That is how I felt when my mother found out she had a fibroid the size of a cantaloupe living in her uterus. In my role as a medical student I might have dismissed the finding as nothing serious, telling my patient, “Don’t worry, it could be much worse.” But as a loving son I was not quite as cavalier. At first my mother resolved to ignore the fibroid, ...

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Disruptive technology is a term used to describe new technology that disrupts the status quo. These technologies displace existing technology—dramatically changing the production, delivery, or use of a product or service. For example, 3D printing is an innovative method of producing three dimensional objects using digital prototypes and will change manufacturing as we know it. Although the term is traditionally used in a positive light, this technology, as its name ...

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Anesthesiology and obstructive sleep apnea: A patient safety challengeA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been diagnosed in more than 18 million American adults, but there are likely millions of others who suffer with OSA, but are undiagnosed. While OSA is frustrating to the patient and the patient’s family, it is crucial to remember OSA is a significant ...

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Two recent articles highlight the challenges we will face as our healthcare system changes with regard to how care is delivered and reimbursed. The first article from the New York TimesMedicare Panel Urges Cuts to Hospital Payments for Services Doctors Offer for Less, notes that large hospital-centric systems of care do not necessarily serve patients well in terms of cost and sustainability. The second on the front page of ...

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I was a very shy child. I never felt comfortable speaking up, especially in groups or in new situations. When asked a question in class, my heart raced, my eyes teared up, and I felt sweaty. As I grew up, these physical reactions subsided as I learned to internalize and manage this fear. But at that time, I could not have imagined that my professional career would depend upon my ...

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Cockpit culture and using the two challenge rule in the OR With the crash of the Asiana 777, we're hearing a lot about cockpit culture and how communication across a hierarchy sometimes fails, even when the very lives of the folks communicating (or failing to do so) are on the line.  This isn't a new concept, and isn't unique to aviation.  Many parallels have been drawn between aviation communication and healthcare team communications, ...

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