A cancer surgeon’s stories offer lessons of humility and grace
Medicine is filled with both the momentous and the prosaic. Yet every interaction is a chance to process and understand the impact one person can both have and be subject to.
Dr. Campbell suggests students start journaling their experiences early. Not only might this lead to a lovely book of essays near the end of a career, but it’s also a great tool to track the fleeting experiences that will much sooner make a great personal statement!
In this episode, M2s Nicole Hines, AJ Chowdhury, Sarah Costello and M1 Zach Shepard visit with the author of a new book,A Fullness of Uncertain Significance: Stories of Surgery, Clarity, & Grace.Dr. Bruce Campbell is also a head and neck cancer surgeon at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The book is a series of short vignettes from Dr. Campbell’s life in medicine from as far back as his first experiences as a nursing assistant in 1973. A blend of the momentous and prosaic, they offer the medical learner a glimpse of what a veteran doctor has seen, and the conclusions he’s drawn from his privileged window into the lives of the people he’s met over nearly 50 years.
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How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!
The amazing Dr. Ryan Gray, host of quite a few of the pre-med focused podcasts over at mededmedia.com (of which we, of course, are a member), joins Maddie Mix, Hillary O’Brien, Nick Lind, and Kyle Kinder as guest co-host! Which is good, because we start with a rather difficult topic: should the parents of a profoundly disabled child–who will never be able to care for herself in even the most basic of ways–be allowed to ‘freeze’ her development so that she remains physically six years old if it will enable them care for her at home?
Mark Shrime is an otolaryngologist (and American Ninja Warrior competitor) who may just be on the leading edge of change in the way global health sees surgery. In this conversation with Tony Mai, Amanda Manorot, Brian Wall, and Hadeal Ayoub, Dr. Shrime argues that the way surgery is used in international development to date–surgeons fly in for two weeks, do their thing, and fly back out–doesn’t do much to allow their host countries to develop their own surgery skills. For his part, he’s managed to arrange his work at Harvard to allow him two months abroad helping to strengthen health systems in countries like Congo, Haiti, Cameroon, and Madagascar.
The problem is, policy-makers see surgery as ‘too expensive,’ disregarding it as a tool for global health intervention. Ebola and Zika therefore get all the attention. But analysis of the cost-effectiveness of surgery as a tool in global health efforts belies this view, and shows the burden of surgical diseases may be as high as a third of the global total. Fortunately, Dr. Shrime has good advice for future surgeons who face a system that embraces Relative Value Units as a measure of physician performance, and yet want to pursue work outside their hospitals to effect global healthcare change.
We Want to Hear From You
What are your thoughts on the effort to elevate surgery as a global health intervention? Any thoughts on who we should interview next? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email email@example.com to share your ideas.
We tried Roto Z eye drops in the past, and were unimpressed. But thanks to Doug Russo, who secured the real deal–Roto Z Pro eye drops–Kaci McCleary and newbies Matt Wilson, Jenna Schade and Elizabeth Shirazi felt the burn. Now that they’re suitably refreshed, Dave must do his part to help med students keep their wits about them by playing a game of MegaClash! Listener and ortho resident Emily calls in to say hello and express concern that med students are forced to choose specialties based on shallow exposures. We address a worrying sentiment Dave noticed popping up a lot this week: that “if you can see yourself doing anything else besides being a doctor, do that instead.” But it’s cool, because the National Academy of Medicine has formed a coalition of organizations to address burnout and suicide in medicine and medical education. And a UK surgeon offers his students a way to observe surgery without all the boring bits, leveraging Snapchat Spectacles. Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week. Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and see our Facebook page for a question to consider every Monday.
Dave returns from his vacation at Disney World in sunny Florida, and recaps for Senuri Jayatilleka, John Pienta, and Cole Cheney his fascination with how Disney takes your money and makes you love it. How does that relate to medicine? Who cares, it’s fun! And Suri is puzzled by her surgery shelf exam, which seemed to have few questions on actual surgery. Continue reading The Magic Ch-chingdom.→
An honest guide to the amazing and intense world of medical school.