Humans are social creatures who naturally evaluate where they stand in relation to those around them. I have no idea how this evaluation process evolved, but at some point we noticed that some cavemen brought more food to the cave than others. The idea was born that some people are better hunters than others. We’ve been trying to decide who is “better” ever since. The origin of the word "test" comes ...

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Bleeding is upsetting. At least, that's what I've been told. I mean, I have noticed that many people have visceral reactions to the sight of bleeding, or even just blood. People who pursue a career in surgery generally do not have this kind of reaction, and I find it interesting that it can distress some individuals while others are not at all bothered by it. This might lead you to assume ...

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shutterstock_3101394 Do you know the difference between a surgeon and God? God doesn't think he's a surgeon. Everyone who goes into the study of surgery has ideas about what they're going to be. I would imagine that each individual has different expectations of what the future holds, though few find their future at all resembles those expectations. I recall when I started my surgery ...

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shutterstock_156842612 american society of anesthesiologistsA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. As a physician, you never quite get used to being paged in the middle of the night. The shrill tones emitted via a radio frequency device that seems squarely stuck in the 1980s are almost always ...

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shutterstock_194789030 Dear drunk driver, Tonight, I am tired. Tired from lack of sleep, tired from the long hours, and tired from bearing witness to your destruction. Tonight, you caused an accident while under the influence of alcohol. And you are badly injured, requiring emergency surgery. Your liver is hard, cirrhotic, and unforgiving. Although I can get you through this first surgery, I know you will ...

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If you are a doctor, nurse, patient, or just someone interested in patient safety, you should read a five-part story called "The Overdose: Harm in a Wired Hospital" excerpted from a book The Digital Doctor by Dr. Robert Wachter. Dr. Wachter and the hospital are to be commended for publicizing this incident so others may learn from it. The hospital staff, the patient, and his mother, also deserve credit for allowing their ...

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shutterstock_122181037 JAMA published an opinion piece about the controversial issue of patients secretly recording their physicians during encounters.  We live  in the era of the smartphone.  Everyone has one -- soccer moms, teenagers, young kids who can't even read yet, elderly nursing home patients who can't safely feed themselves.  Everyone.  And these devices have amazing powers of audiovisual capability.  We all know this.  ...

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Anyone considering attending a Caribbean or any foreign medical school should do due diligence. An Internet search is step one. If the school does not list residency match statistics, that could be a red flag. It would not be easy to accomplish, but try to speak with some current students or recent graduates of any schools you are thinking about. If the school won't give you any names, use caution, and ...

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shutterstock_216555211 I am lucky enough, from time to time, to be invited to speak to young women who want to be surgeons when they "grow up." I always have a hard time striking a balance between what I should share that is positive and inspirational and what I should share that is a little harsh and uncomfortable. Once, I turned to my ...

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shutterstock_210504655 If the analogy between medical training and a fraternity is true, then medical students are the pledges. For many, the most grueling part of this pledge process is the third year surgery rotation where the modified Murphy’s Law is applicable almost daily: Anything a medical student can do wrong, a medical student will do wrong. In a fraternity, pledges can do no right. ...

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