Separating fact from fiction had once been her favorite activity. Going over research with a fine-toothed comb, she caught the inaccuracies that riddled popular culture like unruly strands of hair. It came down to this simple algorithm: there were things that could be proven and things that could not. In other words, there were things that would happen consistently given the same set of conditions, while other things were random. ...

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When it comes to plastic surgery, I have found that many people -- doctors included -- expect post-surgical pain, so they plan for that assumption. This means preparing for days, weeks, or months of narcotics use. This mode of thinking begins long before any incisions are made, virtually guaranteeing a patient will be taking opioids. Instead, I advocate for pain prevention. This approach requires strategizing ahead of any procedure, making use ...

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When we all lived in villages, knowing individual merchants allowed you to identify and avoid the cheats. As we urbanized, brand names became the reputational marker. But when you are dealing on the internet, where no one “knows you’re a dog,” what guarantee do you have? A case involving a Dutch physician who argued that her licensure suspension should be forgotten, highlight health care’s growing dilemma of privacy and reputation. The ...

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The Brazilian butt lift (BBL) is a procedure that enhances the buttocks through fat transfer. Excess fat is harvested from other areas of the body including the abdomen, hips, lower back and thighs through liposuction. BBL is a popular procedure for those seeking to enhance their bodies. However, with the recent reports of patient deaths from undergoing BBL, many have now labeled it as the most dangerous cosmetic procedure. Dangers of ...

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An excerpt from Close to the Sun: The Journey of a Pioneer Heart Surgeon. In the third year of medical school, we were granted a three-month elective, during which we were encouraged to work at another hospital or in some medically related endeavor to broaden our experience. Most people went ...

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I could hear the scream from across the room. It was shrill and filled with panic. Any parent can identify the difference between the cries of normal toddler discomforts and a true emergency. I dropped what I was doing in the kitchen and found my three year old lying motionless on the ground, unable to move his left arm. My five year old was looking sheepishly down at the carpet, afraid ...

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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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