shutterstock_190343936 Help, I need somebody! Help, not just anybody! Help, you know I need someone, help! - The Beatles We are all here on earth to help each other; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.  - W. H. Auden “Help the doctor!” I’m sure most surgeons have heard this exasperated statement at some point in the operating room. It is said with that special mix of ...

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shutterstock_169002578 Last week, my best friend took the recertification exam in anesthesia, the so-called MOCA exam.  Like a good doobie, she paid her $2,100, paid her nanny extra so she could study, took a day off in which she missed the funeral of a friend’s husband, and took the test.  Wow, she must be the most awesome, most well-read, most skilled, most ...

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“Twilight! She has to have twilight,” insisted the adult daughter of my frail, 85-year-old patient. “She can’t have general anesthesia. She hasn’t been cleared for general anesthesia!” We were in the preoperative area of my hospital, where my patient -- brightly alert, with a colorful headband and bright red lipstick -- was about to undergo surgery. Her skin had broken down on both legs due to poor circulation in her veins, ...

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shutterstock_167990879 No one ever wants to meet me.  Well, at least inside of a hospital.  If you are meeting me in a hospital, it is likely because you have been stabbed, shot, assaulted, or in a car accident.  Although the only advice I have about avoiding the first three mechanisms of injury is to stay away from "two dudes" and not try to sell ...

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I felt out of place. It wasn’t the dull yellow flickering fluorescence of the hospital lights greeting me well before dawn. It wasn’t the photos of world-renowned surgeons lining the hallways as if monitoring my every step, or that some of those same surgeons were close by rounding on patients. It wasn’t the sea of dark suits swarming around me vying for a prestigious residency position. It was something far ...

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american society of anesthesiologistsA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Before undergoing surgery, you should carefully discuss your medications with your surgeon and physician anesthesiologist. You may fare better during the operation and the early recovery phase if you continue required medications, but you might need to avoid some medications that could interfere with your anesthesia. Three ...

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In the midst of seeing a patient, I got a call from another physician, my dad's new cardiologist. "Looks like he is going to need CABG (open heart surgery) since he has four major blockages." I was expecting this call, and this result, based on his history of diabetes and at least one month of chest pain. It was still shocking to hear. I walked back into the exam to continue the ...

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shutterstock_138966065 There isn’t any such thing as an ordinary life.  - Lucy Maud Montgomery Heroes are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary. - Gerard Way My colleague, Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, is currently on leave from his academic anesthesia practice as well as from his post as speaker of the house of delegates for the Massachusetts Medical Society to serve as Lt. Commander Jesse Ehrenfeld, combat anesthesiologist in Kandahar, ...

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During my residency training in plastic surgery, I remember spending time in the offices of some of our community faculty members. These were invaluable opportunities to gain exposure to the field outside of the academic university hospital, where things were quite different. The university was a large organization where several residency programs and hundreds of trainees were not just seamlessly integrated into the workings of the hospital, but actually required to ...

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plastic surgery In 2012, in a remote town of San Jose, on the southern part of Occidental Mindoro province in the Philippines, I met a little boy and his desperate, but courageous mother.  The boy was just a few months past his first birthday.  He was born with a facial congenital defect known as bilateral cleft lip, so commonly seen in ...

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