Recently, the Los Angeles Times broke a story that Dr. Puliafito, former Dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, had been abusing drugs and keeping company with a group of younger individuals who engaged in drug use and illicit activity.  Much of this activity occurred while he was dean, and it is a shocking story: A 66 year-old titan of the field of ophthalmology, renowned for inventing ...

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"For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. ...

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Travel is one of our passions. Spending time in unique places, trying new foods, and meeting different people is enjoyable and exciting. We are also passionate about our jobs as otolaryngologists. Humanitarian trips allow us to combine both of these loves. During these trips, I have repaired cleft lips/palates, removed cancers, reconstructed facial disfigurations and improved breathing and swallowing. Few things are more gratifying than being able to provide life-changing operations without ...

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Since I was a little girl, I have been called a lot of things. Sensitive. Funny. Strong-willed. Outgoing. Take-charge. Friendly. Bossy. Focused. And my favorite — domineering. I’ve always been a direct person. I’m an extrovert, which means I walk into a room and I am energized by the people around me. I am also a positive person; I assume you are my friend until you prove otherwise. On most days ...

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Be honest. What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the words "plastic surgery?" Breast implants? Nose jobs? Or maybe you’ll think about one of the numerous television programs out there that have featured the discipline: "Nip/Tuck?" "Botched?" "Grey’s Anatomy?" If so, you aren’t alone. Plastic surgery as a discipline is poorly understood by many, including primary care physicians, nurses, medical students and the public. Plastic surgeons perform many ...

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"Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability." - Sir William Osler Two people presented to my clinic on the same day with classic symptoms of head and neck cancer. Each reported several weeks of unilateral throat discomfort, ear pain, and a neck mass. Each was having some trouble swallowing and had changed his diet to accommodate the soreness. When they opened their mouths, each had a mass with a ...

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Lots of people write about how “doctors work so hard.” But let's look at it from an economics and value-creation perspective. I’m a neurosurgeon, so you know I do pretty well financially, but how much value am I adding to society? Here are a few examples: 1. A mail carrier couldn’t work because of a herniated lumbar disc. We'll figure he makes $50,000/year. I operated on him; he goes back to work. ...

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I wish I knew who coined the term “DRexit” so I could send flowers or a bottle of whiskey as a thank you gift. There couldn’t be a more perfect term to describe the growing exodus of physicians from our beloved profession, which is turning into a morass of computer data entry and meaningless regulations thought up by people who never touch a patient. The one bright note on the horizon ...

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I cried this morning. It wasn’t because of the patient who coded with a wide-complex tachycardia and died in front of me, and it wasn’t because of the patient who tried to spit on me for not giving her a prescription for narcotics. Nor was it my intoxicated 2 a.m. bar fight patient yelling at my other patients, including one whom I’d recently diagnosed with metastatic cancer. It was because ...

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It’s Friday morning in any operating room, USA. Nurses and techs are scrambling to get everything in place before the surgeon arrives because if not, there will be hell to pay. The first patient arrives late, the second patient needs to use the bathroom, the third patient needs blankets before the IV is started … and here he comes … and we’re not ready. The fear is palpable. Down the street, ...

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