During my third year of medical school, I completed a clinical rotation in surgery. I was certain that it would be horrible. I envisioned myself in the OR, getting lightheaded, passing out onto the sterile field and being yelled at by my attending physician. I worried that the medical knowledge I'd worked so hard to learn would be neglected in favor of memorizing the steps of surgical procedures. My parents, ...

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“Come on, bring it on! Come on, bring it on!” the little girl repeatedly chanted behind the drawn curtain in the pre-op holding area. I pulled the curtain back and peered in to see my young patient in the bed and happy as a lark, her mother was sitting next to her trying to contain her laughter. Other patients and staff members giggled as they passed by, hearing this mantra ...

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In 1741, a French physician named Nicolas Andre coined a new word, Orthopédie, and published a book on the topic. Andry described how physicians and families could correct or prevent skeletal abnormalities in children. At that time, the treatment methods were entirely non-operative because the development of general anesthesia and the concept of non-emergency surgery were still a century away. So Andry stressed the importance of his message in two ways. ...

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Patients first Patient care brings me enormous satisfaction. Nearly 40 years ago, when I chose medicine as a career, this was a driving force. Within moments of patients coming into my office, they often share aspects of their life history known only to their closest friends and family. Bestowing this trust is a huge honor that I cherish beyond words. I have the opportunity to help them at a time of ...

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A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. I recently attended a state medical society’s annual meeting where the agenda consisted of an awards program, several speakers and a keynote address.  The highlight of the evening, however, was listening to patients share their stories with the local medical community.  We’ve all heard ...

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We as physicians need a dose of our own medicine as a booster ever so often. I went in for a simple procedure. A lumbar epidural steroid injection for pain which has recently become more than tolerable at times — nothing disabling. Nothing that stops my everyday life and living. I didn’t think much of the procedure at all because I am at the other end of operating room procedures on ...

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Patient access to care is a high priority for all neurosurgeons. Unfortunately, many of our practices are thwarted in these efforts from unwarranted insurance denials. Know, you are not alone. Take this common scenario:

When Ms. Mary Smith (not the patient’s real name) started her new job several years ago, she purchased the premium insurance policy that her company provided. Recently, she developed severe neck and left arm pain. Imaging of ...

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Pathology and laboratory medicine services play a vital role in global health care and continuously improve patient care around the world. When it comes to your medical care, you have many options, and choosing the right professional could improve your health. So what exactly does a pathologist do, and do I have the power to choose my own pathologist? The pathologist’s role A pathologist is a medical doctor who studies the causes ...

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A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. I imagine every physician anesthesiologist has experienced drug or equipment shortages in the last year. How frustrating that even in the world’s largest health care system, basic medications can be unavailable. However, when I step back and look at the big picture, I am ...

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"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." - Diane Ackerman Nathan picks up a pen from the tray next to the dry erase boards. “OK,” he says. “Here’s what he showed us.” The rest of our small group watches. Nathan is one of the more intense medical students I ...

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