A comparison of appendectomy outcomes for senior general surgeons and general surgery residents revealed no significant differences in early and late complication rates, use of diagnostic imaging, time from emergency department to operating room, incidence of complicated appendicitis, postop length of stay, and duration of post-op antibiotic treatment. The only parameter in which a significant difference was seen was that attending surgeons completed the procedure significantly faster by 9 minutes -- ...

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I am nearing the end of my training at one of the top surgical fellowships in the country. I chose this fellowship not just for the name, but also because the surgeons all seemed like genuine and altruistically motivated individuals. It was two-thirds of the way through fellowship when I found myself in conversation with two male trainees. We were discussing the younger trainee and his girlfriend; he would be ...

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Not once during my eight years of medical school and residency training was I ever asked the converse of the titular question, what was my wife’s opinion of my career choice. Not while scrubbed into a case on my surgery rotations, not in the middle of an overnight call in the neonatal intensive care unit and never once by an attending, fellow or co-resident. Even those who knew me best and ...

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I received these emails recently. The writer gave me permission to publish them. They have been edited for length, and some details have been changed to protect his anonymity.

I'm a third-year medical student at an allopathic state medical school. I've always wanted to do surgery. My problem is I failed USMLE Step 1 the first time and got a 207 on my second attempt. I hadn't failed anything else throughout first ...

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Women surgeons all over the globe have been recreating the “Operating Theatre” cover of the New Yorker through the #NYerORCoverChallenge. The public recognition of women in what has been a male-dominated field has rallied female surgeons’ spirits everywhere. Except, perhaps, mine. While I am fiercely proud of my surgical sisters, I also feel a twinge of sadness, because I know so many of the untold ...

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One of the things I most enjoy about being an anesthesiologist is the wide variety of patients that I see. You never know who you're going to have the privilege to care for on a given day. Although my group is large, I will occasionally be assigned to a patient that I personally know. And occasionally, someone I know will request me as their anesthesiologist. Last month I took care of ...

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We are neurosurgeons, albeit not rocket scientists, but with our insider knowledge, it should be easy for us to understand “narrow networks.” Unfortunately, this is not the case so we can imagine how difficult it is for our patients. Consider the following scenario:

A 52-year-old woman is receiving long-term care for multiple myeloma primarily involving the spine. Well-coordinated neurosurgical and oncological care is provided through a large multispecialty group; however, if ...

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And if they can, should they? In recently post, I wrote about some unresolved issues with driverless cars and ended by saying “So are you ready to have an autonomous robot perform your gallbladder surgery? I’m not.” But the robots are coming. A recent paper in Science Robotics proposed six different levels of autonomy for surgical robots. The authors say some devices ...

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And I don’t love it. When I gained acceptance into medical school, I thought I would one day have one amazing job, or at least one job title where I might get to wear several meaningful hats. I’m a physician anesthesiologist. It’s my duty to play a role in improving the health and the lives of my patients. I studied and trained for many years to have the privilege of understanding the ...

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My mind usually starts to wander around the third or fourth hour of retracting a fat flap or holding up a leg during a long operation. I start by guessing how many times the attending has done this particular procedure. Is it his hundredth time doing it? If he was one of the older attendings, perhaps it was his thousandth one. As a neophyte in the operating room, I still relish ...

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