November 2017 Reading Round-Up

What’s piqued my interest recently? The usual “quite a few things”…

After last weekend’s latest horrific mass shooting, this article about converting bystanders to responders seems more relevant than ever. If you want to learn how to Stop the Bleed, look for a class here.

We should trust our OR staff when they tell us there are patient safety issues.

Faculty development anecdotally is a common pain point for surgical educators. This survey data confirms that we’re trying, and we’re struggling.

I really, really love stories because they provide so much meaning to us.  Apparently narrative comments are also helpful for understanding trainee performance.

Fun reading for November: Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson.  I’m about 5 chapters into this, which is our book group reading for the month, and it is wonderful.

And now, an added bonus per a Twitter request-

Mis novelas favoritas en español:

Como Agua Para Chocolate– Laura Esquivel

Cien años de Soledad– Gabriel Garcia-Marquez

La Casa de los Espíritus– Isabel Allende

Tía Julia y el escribidor– Mario Vargas Llosa

Cristóbal Nonato– Carlos Fuentes

Reading Round-Up- August Edition

Quite a few things on the radar screen right now, many because they relate to things in-the-works around here.

  • Last week I wrote about Daily Goals Sheets in the ICU.  This very eloquent mixed-methods study was mentioned there, and is worth mention again.
  • This week on the IGSJC we’ve been discussing a terrific study on risk of perforation with appendicitis, particularly as this relates to delay to OR.  Another nice appendicitis piece is in JACS this month, examining nonoperative management of appendicitis in the pediatric population.  SO many questions remain on this common surgical disease. (And a major shout out to @F_ThurstonDrake, our first resident author to discuss their manuscript in IGSJC.  Nicely done, Thurston.)
  • American Surgery and the ACA is always a hot topic.  If you’re contemplating attending the AWS Fall Conference in San Francisco, we’ll have a special guest from the ACS Division of Advocacy and Policy discussing just this topic as part of the program.  I was also gratified for the mention of the ACS Inspiring Quality program since we are having an IQ Forum here in Utah on October 3.
  • I spend a fair amount of time contemplating how do we better mentor our trainees into academic careers (since I believe that academic surgery is the coolest job EVER- well, other than being a river guide, I suppose).  Academic Medicine has a new publication describing the implementation of a structured resident research program, which is definitely one piece of the puzzle.
  • And, ICYMI, there’s the IOM report on GME.  Expect a freestanding blog post on this one sometime soon, particularly their recognition that education research is inadequately funded if we want evidence behind what we’re doing for/ to our trainees.  I could make many sarcastic comments about this finding, but I’ll instead hold my fingers really, really still.
  • Still no new free-reading book recommendation.  Last month’s book club selection (The Woman Upstairs) gets two thumbs down from me.  Maybe it’s because I’m a happy mid-forties woman who loves her career, but I just didn’t “get” the (bitter and toxic) mid-forties main character.

Happy reading!


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.