For those of you who didn't know, I entered the National Novel Writing Month contest (which has no winners). I got to the goal of 50,000 words yesterday. One of the main questions that is asked in my novel (which may or may not ever see the light of day) is this: What would happen if a wonderful cure came along that would take away most, if not all sickness? Remember, it is fiction.
So there was a neurosurgeon who called a plumber for a house visit. The plumber arrived and after spending an hour bestowed the neurosurgeon a bill of $500. The surgeon was stunned; he said, “Even I don’t charge this much after a surgery.” The plumber stood up, gave him a sly look and said, “well that is why I am a plumber now; I used to be a neurosurgeon.
What makes a good surgeon? Pushing the acceptance of new technologies in the name of improving patient care and outcomes? Earning respect amongst one’s peers and co-workers? Being recognized with academic accreditations and awards? Staying in touch with patients and showing concern for more than just the procedure at hand? The answer, of course, is yes to all these questions.
There’s little question that CT scans are on the rise, especially in the emergency department. A recent paper from Radiology put a number to the increased frequency of the test, concluding, CT, a radiology tool that once took nine days to finish, was used 16.2 million times in 2007 to diagnose headaches, stomach aches, back pain, chest pain and the like.
“Write only if you cannot live without writing. Write only what you alone can write.” -Elie Wiesel My patient needed a way to deal with his loss. Between the loss of his lung function and my surgery to remove his voice box, his life had really changed. Two of his biggest pleasures, an energetic round of golf and a ride in the hills on his bicycle, were no longer possible.
There are some lessons we learn and keep re-learning in medicine. For me some of these recurring lessons are, Listen to your “gut.” Pay attention to the clues. Listen to your team. Don’t be afraid to call for help. and Stick to your guns when advocating for your patient.
A fellow physician called me with a consult this afternoon. He described the case as a 60 year old who had stridor (difficulty breathing) for the past week and was admitted to the hospital recently. A CT scan showed lymph nodes in his neck which was compressing the trachea, and other scans didn’t show much better.
At the start of my surgical training, I helped to care for a middle-aged patient who was struggling to recuperate from a major operation on his aoarta, the body’s central artery, and the blood vessels to his legs. As the days wore on, the surgeon in charge began consulting various experts until the once spare patient file became weighted down with the notes and suggestions of a whole roster of specialists.
On December 3, 2010, the world will take a moment to recognize the International Day of Persons with Disabilities . The United Nations observance aims to promote a better understanding of disability issues with a focus on the rights of persons with disabilities. Too often we forget that many people, from all countries and all age groups, struggle with disabilities every day.
Why can’t we have an adult conversation about smoking? Why resort to scare tactics and simplistic messaging on cigarette cartons when it’s unclear whether they’ll do any good? November 19, 2010 Did you know that cigarettes are addictive, tobacco smoke can harm your children, and that smoking can kill you? If yes, congratulations, you are just as intelligent as members of the Food and Drug Administration and probably passed your middle school health class.
Olympic swimmer Dara Torres, who has won 12 medals in five Olympic games, including 3 silver medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, has recently undergone a cutting edge procedure on her knee to repair severe arthritis. The 43-year-old was the oldest swimmer on the U.S. Olympic swim team, but has won at least one medal in each of the five Olympics in which she has competed, making her one of only a handful of Olympians to earn medals in five different Games.
From watching television we tend to think we know what a hospital emergency looks like: violent, dramatic and optimally bloody. Someone calls the alarm, a team that includes at least one handsome doctor surges into the room, and people yell out “STAT!” as needed. The patient always survives.
The patient was a classic “worried-well” type of patient — a thin, 50-year-old educated woman with a long litany of nonspecific, unrelated complaints and tight worry lines carved into her face. She unfolded a sheet of paper on that Thursday morning in my office with a brisk snap, and my heart sank as I saw 30 lines of hand-printed concerns.
Terry Coggins, MSN, RN, WOCN, CWCN Medical Education Manager, Smith & Nephew One of the biggest concerns in hospitals today is related to surgical site infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are an estimated 780,000 operations every year that are complicated by surgical site infections.