kwolfsbane-deactivated20150502  asked:

How do surgeons "accidentally" leave stuff in patients?

It’s not as hard as you might think. Guts are dark and squishy and if you put something in them they tend to close around the thing, so stuff gets lost pretty easily. Especially in moments when the surgeon is scrambling to stop a bleeder. This is why counting instruments and needles and gauze in the OR is so important. 

There have been plenty of times that I’ve been in the OR (especially C-sections, cuz Lordy they are bloody) where the count came up wrong at the end of a case and everyone had to stop and look for the missing lap. It always turned up though, sometimes on the floor but sometimes hiding in a dark corner of the peritoneal cavity. But before the days of meticulously counting things, it would have been very easy to leave instruments behind. 

kwolfsbane-deactivated20150502  asked:

The post about ferguson with the first part "white people:" is extremely racist. You cannot dump all white people into one group. It's like putting all black people into the same group. You know white people are protesting in Ferguson also. White reporters are there not just black ones. You want to post something about racism and police violence but you're single handily contributing to racism by putting all white people in the same category and painting them as sympathizers with the cop.

kwolfsbane-deactivated20150502  asked:

By your latest post I'm assuming your undergrad was in anthropology. If so, then that's awesome! Cause I'm an anthropology major and I plan on becoming a doctor also.

Haha why thank you! But I actually was NOT an anthropology major; I took many anthro courses for my bioethics major, though. I absolutely have a soft spot for anthropology, so go you!! It is wonderful, isn’t it?

kwolfsbane-deactivated20150502  asked:

If a fellow medical student is homophobic, racist, or show characteristics that physicians shouldn't have, do I have the right to go to the school and voice my concerns?

Hmm, yes, but carefully.

First off, no one is perfect. Everyone is growing at a different pace. And there are LOTS of things that we do or say in private that we wouldn’t do or say in public. That may not show excellent character on our part, but it’s true.

I understand what you’re asking and I know it comes from a good place, but remember that we all have characteristics at one time or another that maybe a doctor “shouldn’t have”. Maybe you drink too much at parties. Maybe he smokes pot on his back porch. Maybe she becomes a reckless driver when she listens to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. But it’s a dangerous place when we designate ourselves as the doctor morality police. 

Doctors have private lives too, and the general public likes to hold us to a higher standard in our private lives than they do for themselves. I feel like politicians and preachers get treated this way too, as if because they hold positions of authority they are somehow supposed to live stainless lives.

All that is to say that people are also allowed to have their own opinions, political leanings, and religious beliefs, even if they don’t line up with what you think is right. For example, a person (yes, even a doctor) can be opposed to gay marriage or homosexuality on the whole. But if it doesn’t affect their treatment of their coworkers or patients, you gotta leave it alone (in an official sense, though you can discuss these views with them privately). Now if a doc pays their black nurses less than their white ones or gives a patient substandard care because he’s gay or Pakistani or a democrat or whatever, that’s unacceptable and should be addressed.  

So if you see a colleague being discriminatory toward a patient or a coworker, especially in a work environment, that should be reported to their superior. That’s unprofessional. There are codes of ethics and professionalism for medical schools and hospitals and sometimes state medical boards, and if you see a doctor breach those, it’s definitely appropriate to report it. Though you will find that in a lot of cases, they won’t see any more justice than a slap on the wrist, at least the first time.

But if they are privately a jerk (say they make off color jokes at dinner when they’ve had one too many), well, even though it’s not right, I’m not sure it’s actionable by their school or employer. That’s when it’s time for you, as a friend, to gently correct them.

kwolfsbane-deactivated20150502  asked:

Do you think it would be okay for physicians to smoke marijuana? It's safer and healthier then alcohol, and it has a plethora of good benefits. Elevating stress, anxiety, and depression are some. And would it be appropriate for a physician to recommend it to his/her patient?

I think that if you have a medical condition that can be treated with medications that have tons of studies behind them supporting their efficacy, and your doctor has prescribed that medication, then it’s okay to use it. If there is an “alternative” out there that doesn’t have such great studies backing it, is expensive, and potentially illegal, why use that alternative when other things work just as well or better? 

I hope when you say “elevating” you mean “alleviating,” because if MJ elevates stress, anxiety, and depression, I’d say those were pretty good reasons NOT to use it. And actually, there are some studies out that suggest that chronic marijuana use does worsen depression. Yes, I know there are studies that say the exact opposite as well. That is sort of my point. We can’t really recommend a treatment that doesn’t have good, well-designed, consistent studies behind it to back it up. 

It is not okay for a physician to use any intoxicating substance when they will be treating patients. This applies to alcohol, marijuana, other illicit drugs, and prescription drugs. How would you feel if you knew that your surgeon planned to smoke a joint or pop some pills before cutting you open? Have we learned nothing from watching House?

It is absolutely NOT appropriate for a physician to recommend anything illegal to their patients. So if a doc practices in a state where marijuana isn’t legal, it’s not ok to recommend it, regardless of its “benefits”.  If they practice in a state where medical marijuana is legal, well then I guess they would be able to prescribe it. I’ve had patients ask me my opinion on it, and I basically give them the pros and cons of marijuana use and remind them that it is still illegal in our state. 


kwolfsbane-deactivated20150502  asked:

So for medical school interviews can they/will they do Skype or over the phone interviews if you cannot make it to the school?

Hmm, I’m not sure. Anyone got any experience with this?

I would think it would be a pretty rare occasion. And it would vary by school. Schools expect you to be able to get to them, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Some may be willing to re-schedule an interview so you could get there, though. And also remember it would be very difficult to make the same impression over the phone or even skype that you could make in person.