Skeptical Scalpel

Is the Surgeon Still “Captain of the Ship”? | Medical Blog

"I keep hearing that medical care has become a team sport. If that's true, then the surgeon, like everyone else, is simply a member of the team."

Woman Refuses Episiotomy, Gets One Anyway | Medical Blog

"This case is not about malpractice. It is about the right of a patient to refuse an intervention. While the doctor stood with scissors in hand, the patient can clearly be heard saying, 'Don’t cut me.'"

The Doctor Will Saw You Now | Medical Blog

"While the staff was frantically searching for a suitable instrument, a rusty hacksaw was found in a storage closet."

Surgeons Who Can’t Perform Open Surgery | Medical Blog

"There may be a movement afoot to start a Fundamentals of Open Surgery course. What is going on here? Do we really need to have a separate course to teach residents open surgery? Isn't that what a 'residency' is supposed to do?"

Alternative Medicine Docs Confused About Oxygen | Medical Blog

"How about we just take our oxygen the old-fashioned way—normal breaths and never intravenously?"

Journal Publishers’ Exorbitant Profit Margins | Medical Blog

"Before submitting any paper to an open access journal, authors should be sure they understand the fee structure and check Beall's list of predatory publishers, which has recently been updated and expanded."

Wisconsin Bill: Cameras in the OR | Medical Blog

"It is understandable that a family would want to do something positive in memory of their loved one, but is this proposed law the way to go?"

Do OR Checklists Improve Outcomes? | Medical Blog

"Before you go off on me, I will remind you that I do not oppose checklists, and most things we do in medicine are not based on Class 1 evidence. "

Do I Need an Annual Physical? | Medical Blog

"Show me the data to support the idea that getting to know patients better and having genuine interactions with them leads to better outcomes."

Should Radiologists Give Test Results to Patients? | Medical Blog

"The idea is that patient anxiety while waiting to find out a test result could be alleviated by an immediate discussion with a radiologist. That would be very nice, but there are potential problems..."

Obesity: A Disease, Disability, Both or Neither? | Medical Blog

They said the Americans with Disabilities Act was intended to help those who were disabled not by individual decisions, but rather were "victims of fate." It did not address the fact that many are disabled from smoking-related emphysema. Are they victims of fate or poor choices?

Should You Wear a Hazmat Suit When Operating an Elevator? | Opinion Article

"It may surprise you to learn that most of the bacteria found on elevator buttons and restroom surfaces can also normally be found ON YOUR HANDS!"

Distracting Electronic Devices Don’t Affect Learning. Really? | Medical Blog

"The null hypothesis was accepted as true, which is called a 'Type II' error by statisticians."

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."

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