If you are interested in patient safety and medical errors and haven't read the story in the Texas Observer about a spectacularly incompetent neurosurgeon, you should. It is long but worth it. It will make you cringe. The story includes many details about operations done poorly and patients suffering paralysis and death at the hands of Dr. Christopher D. Duntsch. The Texas Medical Board is over-worked, slow to act and ...

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Today in clinic, I interviewed a formerly morbidly obese woman. She has lost almost 300 pounds since undergoing gastric bypass surgery a few years ago, a presentation that has become increasingly common. She was here to see the plastic surgeon for her four week follow up appointment, status post abdominal skin flap removal. See, after losing a ton of weight, loose skin remains, especially in places like the arms and abdomen.  ...

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10 questions to ask before anesthesiaA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Not so many years ago, surgeons wouldn't operate on patients they considered too old to tolerate the stress of anesthesia and surgery.  Today, however, patients of every age — from Baby Boomers to the Greatest Generation — undergo anesthesia safely for surgery and diagnostic procedures. Realistically, even if you believe ...

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What should doctors disclose to patients in the aftermath of adverse events?  Does it matter if the adverse event was related to an error?  Does it matter if it was preventable or not, anticipated or unexpected? Recently, I was at the Carolina Refresher Course facilitating a session on adverse events in anesthesiology.   We touched on a variety of issues, but spent the most time discussing the importance of disclosure conversations, as ...

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When Tiger Woods addresses the ball, he's focused like a cat that heard a rustle in the leaves. He takes a few practice swings, moves up to position, adjusts his feet, steadies his shoulders, locks his eyes onto the target. He waits until there's absolute silence, brings his breathing under control, funnels all his energy into the impending swing; takes the club back, and explodes in an immensely balletic movement. ...

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A few months ago I read an essay by Dr. Herbert Fred of Houston, Texas. After reading his essay, "Medical Education on the Brink," I was inspired to start a revolution in surgical education. His essay ends with the following recommendation:

“…raise the bar of performance in all training programs to a distinctly higher level, with excellence as the perpetual goal.”
As the Fourth of July approached, I began to view his ...

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Brought to you by MedPage Today. 1. Med Students Who Shadow Surgeons Keener on Surgery. Medical student interest in critical care surgery has fallen since the 1980s, but shadowing surgeons on a busy night bolstered enthusiasm in a small group. 2. Second-Hand Smoke, Asthma Link Remains. Children with asthma were more likely to be exposed to second-hand smoke than those without the disease. 3.
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I started seeing patients the moment we arrived at Apollo Hospital in the small rural town of Bilaspur. There was no time to rest. These patients had been waiting for us for weeks to arrive. It was during this clinic time, on this day, that I realized something that really struck me to the core. I have been to India to do these missions many times. Heck, I have been ...

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Helpless. That is how I felt when my mother found out she had a fibroid the size of a cantaloupe living in her uterus. In my role as a medical student I might have dismissed the finding as nothing serious, telling my patient, “Don’t worry, it could be much worse.” But as a loving son I was not quite as cavalier. At first my mother resolved to ignore the fibroid, ...

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Disruptive technology is a term used to describe new technology that disrupts the status quo. These technologies displace existing technology—dramatically changing the production, delivery, or use of a product or service. For example, 3D printing is an innovative method of producing three dimensional objects using digital prototypes and will change manufacturing as we know it. Although the term is traditionally used in a positive light, this technology, as its name ...

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