american society of anesthesiologists A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. In an emergency, the first question people often ask is: “Is there a doctor in the house?” When you have a medical problem, the best advice is, “Ask your doctor.”  Most people automatically assume that “doctor” in this context refers to a physician with a ...

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shutterstock_197629736 You are human and fallible. - Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre Alas, the frailty is to blame, not me -- for such as we are made of, such we be … - William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night Sha-doo-bee, Shattered … - Mick Jagger, “Shattered”, The Rolling Stones, Some Girls (1978) The image of the surgeon is synonymous with strength. Surgeons are stereotypically charismatic, commanding, confident, even arrogant. Strong minds, strong bodies, strong wills. Leaders, especially ...

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0121_davidson-620x411 In 1994, I was working at my first radiation oncology job in San Diego at Grossmont Hospital when I came into work to hear disturbing news.  One of my colleagues in medical oncology, a compassionate man known for his gentle nature, had stayed late at the cancer center the evening before to finish up paperwork.  With his back to his ever ...

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Have you ever wondered about the behavior of surgical residents on Facebook? I have. A study from the Journal of Surgical Education posted online in June 2014 looked at the issue. The paper, "An Assessment of Unprofessional Behavior among Surgical Residents on Facebook: A Warning of the Dangers of Social Media," identified 996 surgical residents from 57 surgical residency programs in the Midwest and found that 319 (32 percent) had Facebook profiles. Most ...

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We have a problem in this country with how precious organs for transplant are allocated. The problem has been brewing for years, and is well recognized in the transplant community, the physicians and institutions that perform them. Two recent opinion pieces review the issue well: "Very Complicated Math — Reconfiguring Organ Allocation," and, "Transplantation Traffic -- Geography as Destiny for Transplant Candidates." Since PICUs such as mine are ...

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shutterstock_124837006 We recently had a session hosted by the medical education staff at our school where we were encouraged to share any difficult situations encountered in clerkship (submitted anonymously beforehand if that was preferred) and discussed them as a class. Issues regarding ageism, sexism and racism were brought up and addressed with the group. While I have not encountered any of the ...

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A front page entry in a recent issue of Anesthesiology News: "Physicians Versus CRNAs: Redefining Roles in the Changing Landscape of Health Care."  Sounds like a prize fight or a gang war: Crips vs. Bloods.  I immediately got my boxing gloves on, readying myself for another bout of vitriol and dislike thinly disguised as concerns for patient safety.  But the author, Michael DeCicca, a second-year anesthesia resident, surprised me. He writes: “Logically the ...

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Last year, I underwent a colectomy, a surgery that removed my entire colon. Afterwards, I had to wear a temporary waste-collecting pouch attached to my abdomen known as an ostomy. Until my next surgery, I was now an “ostomate.” One of the early side-effects of the surgery was that I was prone to bouts of severe dehydration that left me hospitalized for a few days. During one of my dehydration-related ...

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Atul Gawande is the preeminent physician-writer of this generation. His new book, Being Mortal, is a runaway bestseller, as have been his three prior books, Complications, Better, and The Checklist Manifesto. One of the joys of my recent sabbatical in Boston was the opportunity to spend some time with Atul, getting to see what an inspirational leader and superb mentor he is, along with being a warm and menschy human being. In my continued series of ...

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american society of anesthesiologists In a hushed surgical theater in Boston in 1846, anesthesia changed medicine forever. The first successful public demonstration of ether anesthesia allowed patients to undergo surgery they would otherwise not have been able to tolerate. Previously, patients who had been subjected to biting down on cloth or looking into a blue light could finally undergo surgery ...

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