Thursday, September 3, 2009

SurgeXperiences 305: This Is Africa

Welcome to Africa for this 305th edition of SurgeXperiences:
we have some great articles for this edition of the fortnightly surgical blog carnival...

Sid Schwab of Surgeonsblog writes about the current health care debate in the USA and points out how private healthcare insurers do not provide cover for what you really need it for. They are businesses after all and a "Guy's gotta make a buck, right?" We all know that insurance companies will try anything to get out of paying out, but some of these examples of exclusions are ridiculous. Dr Schwab states: "The question is, does the current system work and is it sustainable without significant change? In my view, the answer is clearly no."

In another post from Surgeonsblog, Dr Schwab talks about one of the most difficult decisions a surgeon has to face: the decision not to operate. A fitting piece of advice given to one of the commenters by a wise mentor: "not everyone has to have an operation before they die".

Dr Alice from Cut On The Dotted Line tells us what it's like to spend a day in the cardiac ICU. Part 1, only takes us through her morning, but it seems like a full day already! She concludes here.

rlbates does an article review on radiation therapy and breast reconstruction, a very important topic in women's health, the approach to which appears to remain contraversial.

The ever proliferative story teller Bongi tells a poignant story about memories and reflection and how one can never really go back; a stomach turning story (if a surgeon gags, you know it's gotta be bad!); a very typically South African story; and an absolute must read about a frightening, surreal experience he had as a student in a maximum security mental institution - or it may have been a scene from a bad zombie movie, I'm not sure ;)

Jeffrey Leow, looks back on his psychiatry rotation. It's a very interesting reflection and a worthwhile read.

KevinMD talks about operating on patients with situs inversus.

Shirley Wang of The Wall Street Journal Health blog interviews Elliot Haut, the first author of a recent study published in Archives of surgery, which found that a trauma surgeon's experience makes no difference on patients' likelihood of survival. The overall system of care appears to be the important factor. Interesting. Take a look.

Sheepish from The Paper Mask, talks about the growing discipline of Cosmetic Medicine and the lack of regulation and standards in the industry. I've always found it interesting that people are very careful to take their cars, appliances, electronics, etc to an accredited dealer only, yet will take major risks with their health and lives by going to somebody who may or may not be properly qualified or even somebody who has no qualifications or accreditation at all, when your health is the very thing you should never mess around with. Boggles my mind.

Dan J. Schmidt tells a story on Pulse about why he chose to go into Family Medicine despite the allure of surgery and trauma.

Elizabeth Gudrais brings us an article about Atul Gawande, a "slightly bewildered" surgeon who also writes for the New Yorker.

Ralph Silverman: The Colon Doctor talks about legal pitfalls in surgery.

A shocking story of a Swedish surgeon who removed an ovary instead of the appendix and only received a warning.

Adam Frucci from Gizmodo tells us about a Brain Surgery Simulator. Looks like a very useful tool for neurosurgeons to plan their surgery.

Wat Tyler talks about the shortcomings of the NHS, reform and a possible solution on Burning our money.

The next edition of SurgeXperiences will be over at Other Things Amanzi on 20 September 09. Be sure to submit your posts via this form.

Thanx for coming!