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Sensing Savvy

How Patients Choose Physicians

Posted by Anna Mueller, MS on Dec 11, 2017 8:00:00 AM

How do patients choose a physician or surgeon? That seems to be the million-dollar question for many physician practices and hospitals, and according to whom you ask, the answer is usually different.

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Profile of Excellence: Dr. James L. Cox

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Dec 6, 2017 7:30:00 AM

James L. Cox was born in 1942 in Fair Oaks, Arkansas, into a family of rice farmers. A baseball scholarship at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) provided his first pathway to higher education. Upon graduation he returned to his parents’ farm. Dr. Cox recalls driving the family’s truck one day laying down gravel when he went back to the house for lunch, his mother greeted him with a letter saying that he had been accepted at the University of Tennessee Medical School. Then his father came out to say that a scout from the Los Angeles Dodgers had stopped by to make a final offer. Knowing from the time he was 16 that he wanted to become a doctor, he accepted the first offer.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic

What It Takes to Become an Academic Surgeon

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Dec 4, 2017 7:31:00 AM

The term “academic surgeon" generally refers to a medical school’s department of surgery faculty member. Dr. Fred A. Crawford Jr., Distinguished Professor of Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina, calls academic surgeons “triple threat” surgeons who operate, teach and also do research. He prefers to use the term “scholarship” instead of research as one of the triple threats because research generally connotes laboratory research and might not include other scientific endeavors such as analysis of clinical outcomes.

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Topics: cardiothoracic surgery

Cardiothoracic Powerhouses: Baylor College of Medicine

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Nov 29, 2017 7:30:00 AM


Although Baylor College of Medicine is now a preeminent center for cardiothoracic surgery, it is a relatively young institution — less than 75 years old — and its beginnings were inauspicious. It opened in 1946 after President Franklin Roosevelt, in 1944, approved the purchase of 118 acres from the Hermann estate for the construction of a 1,000-bed naval hospital in Houston. The hospital, later renamed the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, became a teaching facility for the Baylor College of Medicine.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic

Hemodialysis Pioneer Nikolai Krivistki Reflects on His Journey to Help Patients

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Nov 27, 2017 8:00:00 AM

"I’m doing something that helps save lives. That makes all the difference." —Nikolai Krivitski, PhD, DSc

Hemodialysis pioneer Nikolai Krivistki, PhD, DSc, recently related how he came to leave Russia to come to America a quarter century ago. Not long after joining Transonic in 1992, Nikolai realized during an “aha moment,” that by combining saline indicator dilution technology with transit-time ultrasound and reversing the hemodialysis blood lines to create recirculation, vascular access flow could be measured directly. His realization revolutionized hemodialysis surveillance. Within a few short years, ultrasound dilution technology with the hemodialysis monitor was the recognized gold standard for measuring vascular access flow.

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Top Impacts on Physician Productivity

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on Nov 22, 2017 8:00:00 AM

As a physician, your time is valuable, and vast amounts of it are required to build strong, trusting relationships with patients. But most physicians are constantly performing a balancing act between patient care and the mounting demands of an increasingly complicated healthcare system — and when one side gets too heavy, your productivity inevitably suffers a major dip.

Acclimating to newer technology combined with the multiple pitfalls of physician burnout equal extra weight guaranteed to throw off even the most seasoned healthcare professional. If you pile on the negative impact to your earnings, the equilibrium of your practice becomes significantly compromised. Here we look at what affects physician productivity, and some solutions for righting the scales.

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The Future of Medicine: Artificial Intelligence, Physicians and Patients

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on Nov 20, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Doctors worry that artificial intelligence (AI) will replace physicians and surgeons. Visions of robots performing surgery, doing routine checkups and coordinating care without humans are common imaginings of the future with AI. But new and developing technologies are instead showing us a future that has AI and humans working side by side, giving us more reasons than not to welcome AI in the healthcare field.  

According to a study from The New England Journal of Medicine, we are facing a whopping global shortage of 4.3 million doctors and nurses. Poorer countries feel this scarcity more acutely while countries like the United States suffer more in terms of rising healthcare costs and less doctor-to-patient contact. AI technologies promise not only to respond to the growing gap, but also help the more human aspects of health care thrive in considerable ways.

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Which Locum Tenens Setting is Right for Me?

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on Nov 15, 2017 8:05:00 AM

In the 1970s, locum tenens was born as a solution to provide physicians to rural medical clinics in the Western United States. What began as a solution for a region soon evolved into a national and international way for hospitals and other medical providers to receive staffing assistance.

But the benefits of locum tenens go beyond the facility. Working locum tenens has several benefits for you, too.

Maybe you’ve just finished your residency. Maybe you’re looking for something new in a different location. Or maybe you’re considering shifting to part-time work and want to know your options.

Locum tenens can give you the change you’ve been seeking. But as there are many clinical settings, so too are there many locum tenens opportunities. Here’s what you should consider about each setting.

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Topics: locum tenens

Common Causes of Medical Malpractice Suits Against Surgical Residents

Posted by Anna Mueller, MS on Nov 13, 2017 8:15:00 AM

Patients file medical malpractice lawsuits against physicians for several reasons: failure to diagnose a condition, injury during treatment, failure to treat a condition, poor documentation and medical errors.

A recent study published in JAMA Surgery found surgical and junior residents are particularly vulnerable to these lawsuit filings. During a 10-year period, 87 malpractice cases involving surgical trainees were identified by Westlaw, an online legal research database containing legal records from across the United States

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Topics: malpractice

Ways Dialysis Providers Can Defuse Patient Conflict

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Nov 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM

As a dialysis provider, you know that healthcare settings and patient conflict go hand in hand. But unresolved patient conflict creates more stress for your staff, decreases productivity and teamwork and harms your clinic’s ability to safely deliver top-quality dialysis care.

Despite these consequences, providers often shy away from confronting challenges with patients because conflict is almost always uncomfortable. Experts call this avoidance a lack of “conflict competence,” and cite it as a major reason for dysfunctional dialysis units.   

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Topics: Hemodialysis, patient communication