Skeptical Scalpel

A New Job Description for Physicians? | Medical Blog

Medical care as we practice it only accounts for 15% of the health of the population. Good health for all means creating a better world, a better society. Can doctors take us to the new utopia of healthcare? Should they be expected to?

Doctors as Journalists: Conflict of Interest? | Medical Blog

"Whether the reporter is a doctor or not, biases and opinions can creep into any story."

Can Patients Chew Gum Immediately Before Surgery? | Medical Blog

"There has been long-standing debate about the subject of whether using gum and hard candy should be treated the same as ingesting a regular meal."

Reducing Attrition Rates: Finding True Grit | Medical Blog

"If the word ever got out that applicants to surgery residencies are being screened for grit, you can bet that only those with high 'clueless' levels will score poorly."

Appeals Court Strips Graduate of MD Degree | Medical Blog

"The school’s definition of professionalism in moral judgment terms was deemed appropriate and should not be separated from academic performance."

Legal Pitfalls: Proctoring, Supervising, and Coaching | Medical Blog

"I fail to see how a proctor or coach could not intervene if she saw that a surgeon being observed was about to cut a common bile duct or remove the wrong organ."

A 17-Year-Old Boy Impersonates a Doctor | Medical Blog

"Remarkably, no one has called this a system error. I wonder what sort of system, if any, that hospital uses to identify its personnel."

My Paper Was Published. Did Anyone Read It? | Medical Blog

"Journals will have to adapt and become more like blogs. In the future, medical information may be disseminated by blogs and comments rather than journal articles and letters to the editor."

What Is the Best Way to Die? | Medical Blog

One well-known physician-author favors a prolonged death by cancer and thinks this idyllic cancer death is easily achievable with "love, morphine, and whiskey."

Tsundoku | Medical Blog

Maybe the definition of tsundoku should be expanded to include the act of leaving a link unread after tweeting it, typically piled up together with other such unread links.

Should Academic Cardiologists Go to National Meetings All the Time? | Medical Blog

"It is reassuring that patient outcomes do not suffer while many cardiologists are away." That's what I call putting a positive spin on as negative a study as one could imagine.

Does Anyone Really Read Anything Online? | Medical Blog

Analysis of 10,000 articles shared on social media "found that there is no relationship whatsoever between the amount a piece of content is shared and the amount of attention an average reader will give that content."

Medicare Spends a Lot Unnecessarily | Medical Blog

"Why does Medicare pay for all these unnecessary tests and drugs? Office visits and routine blood work every 6 months seem easy enough to identify and squelch."

Allegations of the 1960s: A Throwback Surgeon? | Medical Blog

"The story has not appeared in any mainstream media, but the filed complaint (allegedly) didn't miss too many human resources hot buttons."

Surgery in Space: I Foresee Problems | Medical Blog

The plan is to train the astronauts to perform minimally invasive robotic surgery on each other. What could go wrong?

Adverse Events in California Hospitals: Look at the Data | Medical Blog

I would take my chances at a hospital diligent about identifying and tracking adverse events over a hospital that reports one adverse event every 4 years.

Examples of Annoying Medical Reporting | Medical Blog

1. An article in Time magazine is headlined “It’s Not You, Doctors Are Just Rude.” The first sentence of the article is “Doctors-in-training are in need of

Does Lowering Speed Limits Save Lives? | Medical Blog

New York City's new speed limit undoubtedly lets the politicians and maybe the public feel that they are doing something about traffic fatalities.

Publishing Ratings for Airline Pilots? | Medical Blog

Scores, hours, and passenger ratings should then be publicly available and linked to airline ticket booking sites. This would enable passengers to select flights based on the skills of pilots.

Gladwell: Any College Grad Can Be a Cardiac Surgeon | Medical Blog

Instead of evidence, Gladwell replied, "I have a very low opinion of the difficulty of cardiac surgery" and equated the complexity of cardiac surgery with that of driving a car.

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