shutterstock_116541763 You could hear a pin drop. The awkward silence at a dinner table after my pager went off. Eyes locked on me. For a split second, the laughter ceased, forks held in mid-air, chewed food, half-swallowed. The nervous system of every doctor adapts to the sound of his or her pager during residency. Early in training, widening pupils and hair-raising palpitations fade ...

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shutterstock_50320798 The scalpel hits the skin immediately, splaying it open with one smooth swipe. Two more swipes through yellow globular fat and I hit the glistening white fascia layer. If this weren't an emergency, I would stop to carefully cauterize the small bleeding blood vessels in the fat layer, but there is no time for that now. I nick the middle of ...

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shutterstock_113731288 I never really watched medical shows, even before and during medical school. I watched maybe one season of ER, a couple of seasons of Grey's Anatomy and House MD and maybe one episode each of Private Practice, Chicago Hope, Emily Owens MD and other random medical shows. The only medical show I made an exception for was Scrubs, because it was ...

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When my sister, Jessica, was a nurse anesthetist student at the University of New England, she had the opportunity to rotate at Johns Hopkins, and she seized it. She was young and fairly new to the medical world and so she did not recognize at first the name of the neurosurgeon with whom she would be working -- Dr. Ben Carson. After receiving multiple comments from numerous people about how great it ...

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shutterstock_144006859 A loyal reader alerted me to news of a lawsuit brought by an obstetrician in South Carolina who is suing a hospital for suspending his privileges. He had performed a cesarean section while sitting on a stool because he had a foot fracture secondary to diabetes. Several witnesses said that the doctor "had been unable to properly view the ...

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Here is a behind-the-scenes peek into an operating room in the midst of Silicon Valley. Here, routinely there is a groundbreaking intersection of technology and medicine that's blurring the lines between what's possible today and what you'll come to expect as routine in the future. Imagine two experienced surgeons working side by side to replace a calcified, stenotic and tired aortic valve within a man's heart without ever having to cut into ...

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shutterstock_265206557 In case you were wondering -- robots won’t replace anesthesiologists any time soon, regardless of what the Washington Post may have to say. There will definitely be a place for feedback and closed-loop technology applications in sedation and in general anesthesia, but for the foreseeable future we will still need humans. I’ve been practicing anesthesiology for 30 years now, in the ...

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shutterstock_87958063 It’s a Monday morning, and two patients wait expectantly for the cardiologist. Instead, they get me, a fresh resident. “I don’t know why I’m seeing you,” says the first. I bumble through the chart and find a note indicating he has a large atrium on his most recent echocardiogram. “So, what surgery do you have coming up?” I offer, to get ...

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shutterstock_167475845 Imagine you were seeking major surgery, and the hospital's consent form contained this surprise statement, which you were asked to initial: "I understand that this surgeon and hospital have not performed this procedure in the last 12 months. As such, I accept the greater risk of complications and even death." It's hard to believe that you would sign the form and move ...

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shutterstock_138554978 Dr. Margaret Wood, who chairs the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University Medical Center, has published a wonderful article titled "Women in Medicine:  Then and Now," in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia. I think I speak for many of us in admitting that Anesthesia and Analgesia doesn’t occupy a prominent place on my bedside table. Many readers may have missed Dr. Wood’s article. ...

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