10 things to know about anesthesia and heart surgeryA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. February is American Heart Month. Unfortunately, heart disease is a major problem in the United States that can result in surgery. In addition to discussing your procedure with your surgeon, you want to be sure to discuss your anesthesia care with your physician anesthesiologist. Here are 10 key ...

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In the medical world, when a physician, a scientist, a hospital, a drug company or a panel of experts issues a report, the games begin. If one agrees with the statement or benefits from it, then the report is heralded as breakthrough brilliance. If, however, the report suggests a new medical pathway that diminishes your relevance or reimbursement, then the report and its authors are regarded as misguided. Yes, I am ...

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The recent tragedy of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl who died following complications of tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, has focused many people on the question of brain death. Although I have no more details about this case than anyone else reading the news, I am quite familiar with the sort of things that happened to this unfortunate child. As many of you know, her family does not believe she is ...

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In trying to understand my own burnout, "control" (or lack thereof) is a dominant theme. This is nothing new. In fact, I doubt I'm unearthing bones not already thoroughly analyzed. But I can give instructive personal examples. For a while I was on the board of directors of my clinic, which was then and is even more so now one of the most successful doctor-owned and -managed in the US. During ...

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The decline of medicine as a profession began when it became legal for doctors and hospitals to advertise. Apparently it all started when an Arizona lawyer sued for his first amendment right to advertise his services. In 1977, the US Supreme Court ruled that states could not prohibit advertising by lawyers. This opened the floodgates for all professionals. Soon advertising by doctors and hospitals became common. I don't know what it's like where ...

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The future of robotic surgery can be determined only by probing the possibilities. To ignore the potential for extending the boundaries and safety of surgical care with robotic technology seems unwise. -"The Future of Robotics," Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons (July) 2013; 98:9-15. It is a spring morning in July 2047. Jenny, a nursing assistant, emerges from an exam room and gently closes the door. She is wearing scrubs tastefully covered with ...

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When I was seventeen, I developed a medical problem due to no fault of my own. It was painful, it was embarrassing, and when it became uncomfortable enough to disrupt my life, I went to see a well known surgeon downtown. The specialist, tucked away in the hallow halls of academia, stared down at me past a pair of spectacles perched at the end of his ever-protruding nose. When he examined ...

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The medical director of my clinic once gave me a book on burnout. I never read it. Didn't have the time or energy. Because a young reader considering a career in surgery referred to stories he's heard of depressed and disappointed surgeons and asked for my thoughts, I'll try to address it. Parenthetically, I've heard from more than a few readers that my blog and/or book has inspired them to consider ...

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A Catholic nun, who was the administrator of a small hospital once summed up for me the role business plays in patient care: “No money, no mission.” In order for a practice to be successful, it must be run with healthy business principles in place. But the truth is that few physicians have any training in or knowledge about the business aspects of running a practice. A satisfying and successful career ...

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Once in a while someone asks me if it is hard to be a mother and a surgeon. Certainly, any surgeon-parent can appreciate that juggling a household full of schedules, classes, meals, bedtimes, and activities with a practice full of office visits, pre-operative clearances, post-operative check-ups, and surgeries has its challenges. And to be sure, before I became a mother I had no idea how this would impact my work. What ...

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