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As Doctors Age, Worries About Their Ability Grow

January 25, 2011 4:38 am | by Laurie Tarkan | Comments

As Doctors Age, Worries About Their Ability Grow About eight years ago, at the age of 78, a vascular surgeon in California operated on a woman who then developed a pulmonary embolism. The surgeon did not respond to urgent calls from the nurses, and the woman died. Even after the hospital reported the doctor to the Medical Board of California, he continued to perform operations for four years until the board finally referred him for a competency assessment at the University of California, San Diego .

Medical Center Saves $2.4 Million, Improves Patient Flow

January 24, 2011 6:35 am | Comments

Background: Valley Medical Center Valley Medical Center (VMC), Washington State’s first public district hospital, is the largest nonprofit healthcare provider between Seattle and Tacoma, serving over 400,000 residents as a regional center op erating a network of 12 community clinics throughout King County.


Can A Doctor And A Nurse Be Friends In The OR?

January 24, 2011 6:32 am | by Anesthesioboist T., MD | Comments

One of my best friends in med school was an O.B. nurse. Though she has moved almost all the way across the country and I haven’t seen her since I was in school, we’re still in touch and expect to be seeing each other at last in a couple of months. By some coincidence one of my best friends now is also an O.


Doctors Aren’t Superhuman

January 19, 2011 5:53 am | by Doctor Grumpy, MD | Comments

I mentioned having a migraine this past weekend, and was somewhat surprised by how many people commented and wrote to me, surprised that a doctor, let alone a neurlogist, would actually get migraines. What’s up with that? I know this may be hard to believe, but we get health problems too.

Conquering Organ Rejection

January 18, 2011 5:30 am | Comments

Breakthrough transplant procedure avoids lifelong dependence on drugs January 18, 2011 Dr. David Sachs and Dr. Megan Sykes When Massachusetts General Hospital gave Jennifer Searl the world’s first non-HLA-matched combined kidney and bone marrow transplant in 2002, it was more than just a scientific breakthrough.



January 18, 2011 4:31 am | by Bruce Campbell, MD | Comments

"If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself." -Eubie Blake     He leaned forward, energetically listening to my conversation with his daughter. There was more than one cancer treatment option. We reviewed everything and she asked what he could expect with either a major surgery or seven weeks of daily radiation treatments.

Hospital By Day … Gotham City By Night

January 17, 2011 5:35 am | by Zoe Kiren Deol, MD, FACS | Comments

Every hospital I have ever worked in seems to have a case of split personality. During the day, a hospital seems to take on the persona of a doting mother, full of rules and regulations created for your own personal safety: “Don’t run with scissors” (dispose of sharps correctly); “Eat your vegetables” (low fat, low sodium diabetic diet); “It’s past your bedtime” (visiting hours are now over).

A Hospital Program To End Violence

January 14, 2011 4:43 am | by Pauline W. Chen, MD | Comments

At the end of every year, in what was one of our grimmest rituals during training, the other young doctors and I would huddle over the local newspaper and read through the obituary year-in-review section. We would pick out the names and faces we recognized, recall their stories and marvel over the lives they led outside of the hospital.


Intubating The Combative Patient

January 12, 2011 5:40 am | by Ralph Gordon, MD | Comments

How many times have I been asked by the trauma surgeons to see a trauma patient for respiratory failure? The reason for intubation and ventilatory support – being combative and non-cooperative.

The Doctor vs. The Computer

January 11, 2011 6:04 am | by Danielle, Ofri, MD | Comments

Electronic medical records promise efficiency, safety and productivity in the switch from paper to computer. But there are glitches, as a patient of mine recently brought to light. My patient needs prostate surgery. It is my job, as his internist, to estimate the risks this surgery poses, decide whether he can proceed with the surgery and make recommendations for his medical management before and after the operation.

Chronic Open Abdomen With Fistula

January 10, 2011 5:41 am | by Dietmar Wittmann, MD, PhD, FACS | Comments

Patient's Age: 63 Case Year: 1995 Number of STAR Entries: 10 Diagnoses Keywords: Fistula, Diverticulitis, Hernia History Abdomen with Colostomy, Hernia and Fistula Two years prior to transfer to our institution the patient underwent a Hartmann’s operation for diffuse peritonitis from perforated diverticular abscess of the sigmoid colon.

A Culture Of Fear Worsens The Nursing Shortage And Medical Errors

January 10, 2011 5:39 am | by Jeffrey I. Kreisberg, PhD | Comments

There has been a lot talk about changing how we reimburse providers for healthcare from one that pays for services performed, to another that reimburses providers depending on what happens to the patient. I think we must take a couple of steps back and first tackle the public health crises we are facing that is putting our healthcare in danger, namely, medical errors and the growing nursing shortage.

Putting Profits Before People

January 7, 2011 5:01 am | by Pauline W. Chen, MD | Comments

Late in 2007 I found myself riveted by a case playing out at the University of California, Los Angeles, the medical center where I trained and had once worked as a transplant surgeon. A 17-year-old girl named Nataline Sarkisyan was in desperate need of a transplant after receiving aggressive treatment that cured her recurrent leukemia but caused her liver to fail.

Challenging Cases: Laparoscopic Repair Of Parastomal Hernia

January 7, 2011 5:01 am | by Karl A.LeBlanc,MD, MBA, FACS Surgeons Group of Baton Rouge Director and Fellowship Program Chairman, Minimally Invasive Surgery Institute Baton Rouge, LA Clinical Professor, Surgery, LSU, New Orleans, LA | Comments

Parastomal hernias are difficult in general. The most common type we see are colostomy hernias, and those tend to be most difficult because, by definition, a colostomy is a hernia defect with the bowel going through the abdominal wall. So, you have to leave the hole, but repair the hernia.


The Doctor And The Kidney Stone

January 5, 2011 6:10 am | Comments

by Barron H. Lerner, M.D. Must doctors follow their own advice? The issue often comes up when the obese doctor or the doctor who smokes advises a patient to lose weight or stop smoking. But I recently got to ponder the issue more personally when the severe pain of a kidney stone hit. Despite the extreme discomfort, I continued to work.


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