Donna Ferguson awoke in the resort city of Cancun before sunrise on a sweltering Saturday in July. She wasn’t headed to the beach. Instead, she walked down a short hallway from her Sheraton hotel and into Galenia Hospital. A little later that morning, a surgeon, Dr. Thomas Parisi, who had flown in from Wisconsin the day before, stood by Ferguson’s hospital bed and used a black marker to note which knee needed ...

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On the face of it, this seems like a fairly simple business arrangement. My patients or their employers pay money to a health insurance corporation so they, in turn, have sufficient funds available to pay medical claims for services I render. That simple system seems to work for auto, home, and life insurance. First of all, a little background about me.  I am a board-certified otolaryngologist who did my residency through ...

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As a trauma surgeon, it’s my job to diagnose and fix the violent destruction of the human body. One of the questions I get asked very frequently is, “How do you deal with that?” My standard answer is, “After a while, you get used to it.”

And while I recognize there is some truth to that, lately I’ve been more honest with myself about the emotional toll that violence ...

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As a doctor that specifically deals with brain and spine surgeries, I have adopted a No Room for Error mentality in the operating room. I believe this same mentality can be helpful in making the best possible life decisions. What do I mean by No Room for Error? It is natural to visualize the successful achievement of a goal. For instance, prior to performing the most common surgery I perform, resection of ...

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The decision seemed straightforward. Bob McHenry’s heart was failing, and doctors recommended two high-risk surgeries to restore blood flow. Without the procedures, McHenry, 82, would die. The surgeon at a Boston teaching hospital ticked off the possible complications. Karen McHenry, the patient’s daughter, remembers feeling there was no choice but to say “go ahead.” It’s a scene she’s replayed in her mind hundreds of times since, with regret. On the operating table, Bob ...

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When Colorado legalized marijuana, it became a pioneer in creating new policies to deal with the drug. Now the state’s surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists are becoming pioneers of a different sort in understanding what weed may do to patients who go under the knife. Their observations and initial research show that marijuana use may affect patients’ responses to anesthesia on the operating table — and, depending on the patient’s history of using ...

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A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. For years, research and common belief have supported the concept that patient education alters patient behavior and improves patient outcomes. For instance, lifestyle changes, implemented after improved physician-patient engagement and education, have demonstrated clinical benefits in a wide range of chronic illnesses, ...

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An excerpt from Med Mal. The attorney for the plaintiff leaned forward, rocking precariously at the edge of his chair while I studied him. Comfortable in my leather armchair on the other side of the table I kept up my observation, somewhat amused although mostly unimpressed, as he betrayed ...

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Some hospitals are trying a curious new tactic to attract patients: free hernia screenings. One Illinois hospital raffled off tickets for a smart speaker to entice people to get their abdomens checked by a surgeon, while an Indiana hospital offered a chance to win dinner at a chophouse. Announcements for screening events in Colorado and Maryland warned about “life-threatening” complications that could arise if hernias are ...

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For the last three decades, the numeric pain score has been the go-to assessment for acute pain in the hospital setting. Since this methodology was developed for research purposes to see if drug “A” had an effect on patient “A,” its clinical utility is not just worthless but dangerous. Let’s look at a simple example of a pain order set that is commonly used across the country. If a patient says ...

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