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Skeptical Scalpel

dilber cartoon
dilber cartoon

System errors, human errors, and common sense | Medical Blog

  “It was a system failure.” That’s what United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said in an interview with ABC News about the recent incident involving the violent

doctor-robot-technology-physician-future-evolution
doctor-robot-technology-physician-future-evolution

Will robots ever be able to perform surgery independently? | Medical Blog

Will robots ever be able to perform surgery independently? And if they can, should they? In my last post, I wrote about some unresolved issues with driverless

robots-toys-technology
robots-toys-technology

Some autonomous robots are not ready for prime time | Medical Blog

A Twitter friend posted this on a blustery Wisconsin morning: His car wasn’t being driven by a robot, but the tweet highlights some issues. Driverless cars use

sleep-tired-burn-out-physicians-doctors-residents-nurses
sleep-tired-burn-out-physicians-doctors-residents-nurses

How much would you pay for a nap? | Medical Blog

Los Cruces High School in New Mexico decided to address the growing problem of sleepy students by allowing naps. Last week the Wall Street Journal ran a

stethoscope-gavel-malpractice-lawsuit
stethoscope-gavel-malpractice-lawsuit

Stronger Malpractice Laws Don’t Reduce Complications | Medical Blog

A study of over 890,000 Medicare beneficiaries shows that states with malpractice environments unfavorable to physicians do not see improved postoperative outcomes for 11 different types of

burnout-flame-fire-match-hot
burnout-flame-fire-match-hot

The Burnout Paradox: Why Are We Still Surprised? | Feature

If you go to medical school, you will be stressed—bigly. It should not come as a surprise. Two posts on the Kevin MD website highlight the problems

rock-climb-perserverence-hanging-hard-tough-grip-grit-strength-strong-trying
rock-climb-perserverence-hanging-hard-tough-grip-grit-strength-strong-trying

Who Has Grit? Cutting Resident Attrition Rates | Medical Blog

What is grit? In an article in The Guardian, Angela Duckworth, a psychologist often called the guru of grit, defined it as the commitment to finish what

parachute-jump-bail
parachute-jump-bail

Should patients bail out when their doctor is burned out? | Feature

Google “physician burnout epidemic,” and you will find quite a few articles and blog posts on the subject. By all accounts, physician burnout is getting worse. Causes

dead-dying-patient-tag-name-identification
dead-dying-patient-tag-name-identification

Wrong Body Cremated: ID’ing Patients By More Than a Name | Medical Blog

The wrong body was cremated by the county coroner’s office in Los Angeles. Jorge Hernandez died of an overdose, and the body of another Jorge Hernandez, an

blame-pointing-fingers-fault
blame-pointing-fingers-fault

A tube misconnection and a death: a medical whodunit | Feature

Here’s what we know. In September 2016, a 72-year-old former member of the Australian national soccer team suffered what must have been an extremely painful death when

stethoscope-medical-school-research-books-graduate
stethoscope-medical-school-research-books-graduate

Unmatched Graduate: “Med Schools to Blame” | Feature

The following was submitted as a series of comments on my Physician’s Weekly post about Missouri’s new law allowing medical school graduates who did not match into

money-target-bullseye-greedy
money-target-bullseye-greedy

Parking lot needlestick yields $4.6 million payout | Medical Blog

A jury awarded a woman $4,618,500 for a needlestick injury she sustained in the parking lot of Target. Skeptical Scalpel shares his opinions. A South Carolina jury

burnout-upset-depressed-sad
burnout-upset-depressed-sad

Is burnout inevitable during medical training? | Medical Blog

An emergency medicine resident blogging on KevinMD, thinks so. Here’s why. He started with the competition for grades in college and the process of applying to medical

speak-talk-quiet
speak-talk-quiet

Why can’t more doctors apologize for mistakes? | Medical Blog

“The unintended consequences of these seemingly well-intentioned laws are doctors who can’t apologize for harming their patients even if they want to…” A recent JAMA article about

research-study-books-guidelines-recommendations
research-study-books-guidelines-recommendations

Misinterpretation of Medical Error Deaths from BMJ Paper Continues | Medical Blog

About 6 weeks ago, I wrote a post called “Overestimating the effect of medical errors can be detrimental.” I cited a few examples of blind acceptance of

oxygen-monitor-baby-hospital
oxygen-monitor-baby-hospital

Gas Mix-Up Causes Newborn Death | Medical Blog

In mid-July, a baby born by cesarean section died about one hour later due to the administration of nitrous oxide instead of oxygen in the hospital’s neonatal

doctor-scolded-patient-wrong-trouble
doctor-scolded-patient-wrong-trouble

Shocker: Hospitalists’ “Unprofessional” Behavior Is Normal | Medical Blog

A recent paper assesses medical hospitalists’ participation in "unprofessional behaviors," but are they really that scandalous? Stay tuned for the inevitable corrective actions...

ratings
ratings

Can you trust online physician ratings? | Medical Blog

Many people believe you can. But here’s what a recent article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) about the reliability of online user ratings regarding buying a

scrubs
scrubs

Should Doctors and Nurses Wear Scrubs in Public? | Medical Blog

Being “old school,” I don’t like to see people wearing scrubs outside of the hospital. But there is no evidence that bacteria on scrubs spread disease, and a large number of ancillary hospital personnel wear scrubs.

Doctor in showing digital tablet with rising arrow for success.
Doctor in showing digital tablet with rising arrow for success.

Overestimating the effect of medical errors can be detrimental | Medical Blog

An issue with inflated numbers like 251,000 and 440,000 is that they are repeated by naïve journalists… A musician’s cancer diagnosis could have been made 4 years

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