Surgery

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Surgery

Animals in research and medical training

Over the weekend, some readers sent me a link to a story that, presumably, they thought would be of interest to me, given that I graduated from the University Michigan Medical School back in the late 1980s. Specifically, it’s a report that U. of M. has halted the use of dogs in its surgical training:…

A surgeon visits Body Worlds

Unfortunately, as we have been dreading for the last four months or so since her relapse was diagnosed, my mother-in-law passed away from breast cancer in hospice. She died peacefully, with my wife and the rest of her family at her side. As you might expect, I do not much feel like blogging, and even…

Today is Darwin Day. But, more than that, it is a very special Darwin Day in that it is the 200th anniversary of the birth of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin. This day is meant to celebrate not just the life, but especially the discoveries, of Charles Darwin. His theory of evolution by natural selection, is…

About a year ago, I discussed an article by Dr. Atul Gawande describing a quality improvement initiative that appeared to have been stalled by the Office for Human Research Protections and its apparent tendency to apply human subjects research protection rules to initiatives that are not exactly research using human subjects. The problem appeared to…

Here’s one for our favorite creationist neurosurgeon: A whole Grand Rounds all about the interface of and application to medicine of the theory of evolution.

I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for quite a while but never really found a reason to. Indeed, this one’s been floating around in the back of my mind for a long time. Perhaps one reason is that it’s hard for a surgeon to write about this topic without coming off sounding like…

…more not-so-Respectful Insolence, courtesy not of Orac this time but of other skeptical physician-bloggers! Enjoy: Smackdown, please (yes, Egnor, I’m talking to you) (by blog bud PalMD) Defending science-based medicine (by skeptical neurologist Dr. Steve Novella, who’s been known to spar a bit with Dr. Egnor himself over evolution and neuroscience) Egnorance is Bliss (by…

I have to wonder if the most famous denizen of the Discovery Institute in medical circles, Dr. Michael Egnor, is on vacation or something. For some reason, he’s been especially active over at the Discovery Institute’s repository of pseudoscience, Evolution News & Views, over the last couple of weeks. Neurosurgeons tend to be very busy…

The spontaneous regression of breast cancer?

I tell ya, I’m on the light blogging schedule for a mere four days, thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the happy invasion of family on Thursday and Friday, and a significant amount of grant writing I’ve had to deal with on Saturday and Sunday, and somehow I missed not only a study relevant to…

Here we go again. It seems just yesterday that I was casting a skeptical eye on yet another dubious acupuncture study. OK, it wasn’t just yesterday, but it was less than two weeks ago when I discussed why a study that purported to show that acupuncture worked as well as drug therapy for hot flashes…

More than two-thirds of breast cancers make the estrogen receptor. What that means is that these tumors have the protein receptor that binds estrogen, which then activates the receptor and causes all the genes that are turned on or off by estrogen to be turned on and off. That’s how estrogen acts on normal breast…

When religion interferes with medical education

I’ve often written about the intersection of medicine and religion. Most commonly, I’ve lamented how the faithful advocate inappropriately injecting religion into the doctor-patient relationship in a manner that risks imposing the religion of the health care practitioner on the patient, sometimes through physicians feeling no obligation to inform patients of therapeutic options that violate…

Cancer thought for the day

“One dumb tumor is still smarter than ten smart oncologists.” –George Sledge, MD My only retort is that, slowly but surely, oncologists and we oncologic surgeons are getting smarter.

If there’s one thing that cancer researchers, indeed most biomedical researchers in the U.S., know today it’s that the research funding climate sucks right now. Indeed, after the completion of the near-doubling of the NIH budget in 2003, during which time it was flying high, the NIH budget in essence crash landed–hard. Paylines, which had…

The way to a surgeons heart…

…is through his plush guts, as Liz Ditz tells me: I particularly like the plush pancreas, even though I haven’t done pancreatic surgery on a regular basis since the 1990s. I’m a little confused, though, about why the plush gallbladder is purple instead of green. Surgeons really, really hate to see purple gallbladders, because the…

If you knew what you know now…

Hanging out last night, the final night of a three day holiday weekend, I was momentarily at a loss for what to write. For one thing, having spent a good chunk of the last three days unpacking the remaining stuff we’ve had in our basement in boxes for the last six or seven months, my…

Since vaccines seem to be back in the news again, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a fantastic post that I saw the other day over at A Photon in the Darkness. Read it. Read it now. I’ve done fairly long posts about how pseudoscientists and antivaccine advocates are capitalizing on the case…

A fungus among us in oncology?

I don’t much like Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com (formerly NewsTarget.com). Indeed, I haven’t yet been able to find a more blatant purveyor of the worst kind of quackery and paranoid anti-physician and anti-medicine conspiracy theories anywhere on the Internet, with the possible exception of Whale.to. However, Whale.to is so utterly, outrageously, incoherently full of not…

I’ve been a bit remiss in my duty toward a fellow ScienceBlogger. No doubt a few were wondering (or maybe not), why I, as the resident breast cancer expert here, didn’t point out that my fellow ScienceBlogger Janet live-blogged her very first screening mammogram last week. Truth be told, I had meant to mention it…

A bit of fallout

Late Thursday night, I posted a full-out rant about what I considered to be an incredibly unfair and stupid generalization of the bad behavior of a single surgeon to an overblown and hysterical indictment of medical students, doctors, and surgeons by a fellow ScienceBlogger, posted on his own blog and on Feministe. Fellow ScienceBloggers Mark…

You know, it really annoys me when I see idiocy as idiotic as the idiocy of this surgeon in New Jersey: In a lawsuit filed yesterday, a Camden County woman accused her orthopedic surgeon of “rubbing a temporary tattoo of a red rose” on her belly while she was under anesthesia. The patient discovered the…

Having lived in Ohio for eight years and married a woman from the Toledo area, I had come to think that Ohioans had more common sense. I guess I was wrong. On the other hand, I should have realized that I was wrong. After all, Ohio is home to The Ohio State University Center for…

Say it ain’t so, Sid!

I have some bad news for the medical blogosphere. Well, actually Sid Schwab does. Apparently, he’s decided to drop out of the blogosphere, at least for now. Sid’s grown enormously as a blogger since he first started hawking his book a couple of years ago in the comments here. He got on my nerves at…

Sigh. He’s baaack. Yes, that dualism-loving Energizer Bunny of antievolution nonsense, that “intelligent design” apologist neurosurgeon whose nonsense has driven me time and time again to contemplate hiding my head in a paper bag or even a Doctor Doom mask because of the shame of knowing that he is also a surgeon, that physician who…

If there’s one thing that lay people (and, indeed, many physicians) don’t understand about screening for cancer is that it is anything but a simple matter. Intuitively, it seems that earlier detection should always be better, and it can be. However, as I explained in two lengthy posts last year, such is not always the…