Every time I see a GlideScope, I can’t help but lament, “why didn’t I think of that?”  To me, the GlideScope exemplifies how physicians can apply their practical knowledge of medicine to create technology that improves patient outcomes. I had a front-row seat to physician-designed technology prior to my residency, when I worked at an early-stage venture capital fund advising on health care investments.  We invested in a number of physician-founded ...

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While there are many creative people who go into medicine, the challenge of turning experience into innovation can be stifling. My classmates at Johns Hopkins, fellow residents at Harvard, and peers came from a wide variety of backgrounds. But medical school, internship, and residency don’t afford students much time to tinker around. “Free time” in academic medicine means working in a lab with the “publish or perish” dictum hanging over one’s ...

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Palliative surgery is tough stuff. Nobody wins much, and it often challenges one's ability to think clearly, let alone to tell the truth. Sometimes, I think, it borders on the deceptive; it makes me wonder who's the object of comfort. And yet, when there's nothing else to do, it's often just the right thing. I hate it. To be clear: We're talking about surgery to relieve some sort of specific problem, ...

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It is unethical not to be compassionate when you are a physician.  Treating people or their families poorly isn't helpful to anyone in a stressful situation.  But a big problem exists there - ethics is not taught in medical school.  Then again, neither is compassion.  So where do you learn them?  Can you learn compassion, or is it something you just have? Or don't have? She could have been anyone's grandmother.  White ...

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As the number of people undergoing plastic surgery rises, the number of people who get bad results also increases. Numerous cases of botched plastic surgeries persist to linger the news which continue to put plastic surgery in a bad light. As a doctor specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery myself, I am saddened by the fact that such cases carry on. With more and more people choosing to undergo plastic surgery, ...

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Google Glass has a long way to go in the OR The Royal London Hospital and the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry presented the first live-streamed surgical procedure in the UK. The operation was an extended right hemicolectomy with resection of a metastatic liver lesion. Here is what I thought about the event. The case started about 30 minutes late, which is similar to what would have happened in any ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, June 9, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Surgeons Not Very Involved in ACOs, Survey Says. Accountable Care Organizations have given little attention to surgery in the early years of the Medicare program, choosing to focus instead on managing chronic conditions and reducing hospital readmissions.
  2. Early Allergen Exposure Cuts Wheeze Risk. A new study confirmed that when ...

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Earlier, I wrote about the tragic case of a young girl in California who was declared brain dead after what most media sources called a tonsillectomy. In fact, the patient had a much more extensive procedure for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. In addition to having her tonsils removed, she underwent an uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) and resection (removal) of her inferior nasal turbinate bones. As I stated before, I will not ...

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Whatever we learn to do, we learn by actually doing it; men come to be builders, for instance, by building, and harp players by playing the harp. -Aristotle I groaned. "Don't make me operate with him again! I assisted him in surgery just last week!" I was low man on the totem pole and there was no point arguing. All of the residents and fellows kept track of the rotation and I knew ...

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Better outcomes and lower costs: The perioperative surgical homeWhether it’s a knee replacement avoided for years or an urgent life-saving tumor removal, when the decision for surgery occurs, too often the patient begins a journey into a complex system of fragmented medical care. Perioperative care, which generally refers to the three phases of surgery -- preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative -- can be variable and fragmented. ...

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