January reading round-up

Starting the new year off with the usual for a new month.  Disclosure:  I am now the Web and Social Media for JAMA Surgery.  I do not intend to give our journal preferential treatment, and if you perceive that I am, please let me know.

Are patient satisfaction and quality surgical care complementary or competing?  Thomas Tsai provides an interesting answer in Annals of Surgery.

In a complementary piece, my good (and brilliant!) friend Justin Dimick and his colleague Amir Ghaferi are two of the authors on this study showing that hospital care intensity only explains a small piece of failure-to-rescue in surgical patients.

Those referral letters that require some time and energy and sometimes make me a little crazy to do? It turns out they are helpful for referring facilities!  Thanks to the Harborview folks for asking the question.

Obesity may be an independent risk factor for hypercoagulability in trauma patients.  Sure, it’s single-center, but it’s provocative data.

I’m going to tell you that the entire January issue of the American Journal of Surgery is worth a look if you are interested in surgical education- it’s the papers from the 2014 Association for Surgical Education meeting.  Shameless self-promotion/ personal favorites include work from the ASE’s Multi-Institutional Education Research Group identifying research priorities for surgical education, and my own work with the fabulous Will Elder on disruptive surgeons (this time looking at the effects of these misbehavers).  It has been a JOY to work with the MERG group the last few years, and Will…well, I can’t say enough great things about that research collaboration.


And, of course, my fiction recommendation:  Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son.  It’s a dystopian (and likely accurate) picture of North Korean life, and the stereotypical Texans in the book made me giggle.