A Penned Point

I practice anesthesiology for high-risk adults in Los Angeles. As an English major with a background in journalism, I take a keen interest in the intersection of politics and medicine. Folly and illogic in today's American medicine are topics of endless wonder--take "evidence-based medicine" and "work-life balance" as rich examples. The mother of three grown children, I work full time (or more than full time), and specialize in thoracic anesthesiology.

The real surprise – to me, at least – came more than halfway through Dr. Atul Gawande’s keynote address at the opening session of the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ annual meeting in Boston. more...

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No, I’m not talking about putting fentanyl into my own veins — a remarkably bad idea. I’m questioning the habitual, reflex use of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, in clinical anesthesiology practice. more...

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“Who kicked whom off the anesthesia care team?” asked ASA President Jeff Plagenhoef, MD, FASA. Which professional association refuses to work amicably with the other, he inquired of his audience at the University of Southern California on September 15, as he  more...

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The longer you practice a profession, the easier it is not to bother to learn the next new thing. We may think we’re doing just fine without that new drug, or that new piece of expensive equipment. We’ve seen how the new drug sometimes turns out to have more side  more...

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Emory University held graduation ceremonies on August 5 for the 2017 Class of Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAs), who received Masters of Medical Science degrees. While the traditional academic regalia can’t fail to evoke Harry Potter in the minds of many of us, there  more...

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Fair warning — this post is likely to be of interest only to professionals who administer anesthesia or may have to deal with laryngospasm in emergency situations. more...

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I wish I knew who coined the term “DRexit” so I could send flowers or a bottle of whiskey as a thank-you gift. There couldn’t be a more perfect term to describe the growing exodus of physicians from our beloved profession, which is turning into a morass of  more...

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My husband and I, both anesthesiologists, enjoy our Sunday mornings together - coffee, the New York Times, a leisurely breakfast. No rush to arrive in the operating room before many people are even awake. Today, though, seeing reporter Jan Hoffman’s front-page  more...

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In the interests of full disclosure, I acknowledge with delight that I have a non-time limited board certificate from the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA), issued before the year 2000. I can just say “no” to recertification. more...

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I’m not a pediatric anesthesiologist. Most of us in anesthesiology, even those who take care of children in the operating room or the ICU every day, probably will never give anesthesia to a child in a dentist’s or oral surgeon’s office. So why should we care what  more...

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