June reading round-up

I pushed this forward a few days, mostly to draw your attention to the last article, which is the June IGSJC article.  Discussion starts in the morning, so hop on it if you want to participate with us on Twitter (#IGSJC).


What’s caught my eye?

Apparently, arterial lines are a fairly common source of bloodstream infection in the ICU.  This also means that we should be using the same precautions for their placement that we do for central lines.  So much for my belief in the benefits of the high-flow system in reducing infection risk.

Standardized risk assessment with appropriate prophylaxis can reduce the risk of VTE in surgical patients.  I am particularly enthusiastic about this study from BU because it demonstrates the benefits of programs like NSQIP if we make deliberate choices to use the data generated by the program.

Vagotomy and drainage is preferable in patients who require surgery for a bleeding ulcer.  I’ll admit this caught my eye because (1) my students and I were discussing ulcer disease the day before there was a Tweet on this article, and (2) we know that ulcer operations have become an almost vanishingly rare feature of surgical training.

Why do general surgery residents leave?  We know the attrition number continues to hover around 20%, if more women leave remains controversial.  Nevertheless, is grit a factor?  And if it is, how do we enhance grit?

iPass provides an elegant and effective curriculum for education in patient care handoffs.  Now we need to demonstrate how it impacts patient outcomes.

And last, but not least, this article on contralateral prophylactic mastectomy is our June IGSJC discussion piece.  I anticipate a robust discussion tomorrow and Thursday, and sincerely hope that you’ll either lurk…or join in!


What I’m reading for fun:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.  I admit that I jumped in with some trepidation because it’s a HUGE book, and because people either seem to love or hate it (very few neutrals!).  I’m loving it, I’ve got about 150 pages left, and it’s been a fun and interesting ride.  My biggest criticism would be that some of the characters are a bit “flat”- but in a story like this one that’s a pretty minor complaint.  If you need a big summer read, this should be it, and not just because it won the Pulitzer last year.

Happy reading, folks, and please…join us for IGSJC this month.