About Me

I’ve been a surgeon for 40 years and was a surgical department chairman and residency program director for over 23 of those years. I am board-certified in general surgery and a surgical sub-specialty and have re-certified in both several times. Last year, I retired from clinical practice to devote more time to blogging and tweeting.

I have over 90 publications including peer-reviewed papers, case reports, editorials, letters and book chapters. I have been blogging and tweeting for over three years. My blog has had more than 900,000 page views. I have over 8000 Twitter followers.

Please browse my archive of previous posts or check out my most popular posts listed on the right side of the Home page.

If you would like to contact me or ask me a question, click on the "Ask Skeptical Scalpel" tab to your left next to the "Home" tab.

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22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love your tweets. Didn't realise your experience, though presumed you were, or had been, a doctor. Thanks for sharing all of this with us. I continue to learn an awful lot. @PreciousThing, UK.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

I appreciate your kind comments and that you follow me.

docster said...

Thank you for this amazing blog! Every post here resonates with something I have thought about deeply at one point or the other. Your words speak for the years of experience and such wisdom is rare to come by this easily. Really appreciate it !

Maybe one day you could combine all your posts into a book for medical students like me.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Thanks very much for the comments. I am thinking of putting some of my blogs into an ebook.

I'll have more time to work on it as of December. I will keep you posted.

Mahmudur said...

What a wonderful Blog. I am just a high school student who aspire to enter the field of medicine. I appreciate the fact this blog points out the imperfections of the medical field. It gives a hint on the crap my generation will eventually inherit, and perhaps contribute to as well. Despite that, this blog has not diminished my drive to enter this professions. Is this field polluted with crap? Of course it is. But for every individual who is trying to make a profit at the expense of a human's health, there is always another individual who is genuinely trying to save a life. As a doctor, I intend to join the army of the latter.

Thank you for maintaining such a powerful blog. Regards.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Thank you for the kind words. I hope you keep reading my blog.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is right on, everytime! I also have spent the last 40 yrs in an OR but as an RN. I'm watching the robotic "craze" and remember the laser "craze" in the 70's. I see robotics going the same way as laser, limited specialized use. Too much fuss, too much expense,longer surgery times, no outcome differences except for new complications. Can't stand that we are "marketing" surgery! Will continue to be a blog fan.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Thank you for the comment, which I really appreciate coming from an OR nurse of 40 years.

You make a very good point that I had not thought of. I might blog about the similarities between the laser and robot.

Anonymous said...

As a former department chair in a Midwestern university training program I find your insights helpful in stripping away some of the obfuscation that surrounds medicine today. Keep it up.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Thank you very much. I'm trying.

Gregory Laskaris said...

Are you Greek?

Skeptical Scalpel said...

No, I'm not.

Anonymous said...

OMG is that you Norwood???

Skeptical Scalpel said...

I was going to say yes just to mess with you.

Gary Levin said...

Dear skeptical. Glad to see you have joined our ranks of bloggers. Read your post on KevinMD. I used to read you often, but now I am busy publishing information on Health Reform, and HIT.
I have suspected the inadequatre training of residents/fellows during the last decade of my ophthalmology practice, as well. Analogous to your observations regarding open vs laparoscopic cases, in ophthalmology the comparison between small incision cataract surgery with phacoemulsification and open extracapsular cataract extraction is identical. I found my last group of residents to have great difficulty converting from small incison to a 140 degree limbal incision. Small incison (clear cornea) requires no sutures 90% of the time. The residents have problems with using the correct instruments, and even suturing as well as tying knots. I have had to finish many cases myself while teaching trainees. I also strongly agree that community trainng is essential. Some of the best learning experiences were at community hospitals, where you see a wide variety of techniques, also get to see more complications from less accomplished surgeons. Advances in surgery and changes in health reform open a whole new pandora's box.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Gary, thanks. I'm sorry to see that the problems extend to you specialty too.

Julia said...

I'm so disappointed I just realized you are not training any more. You sound like just the person I would be honored to train under!
Greetings,
Great admirer,
MS1 babystudent

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Julia, thank you for the kind comments. Good luck with med school. In the words of Napoleon Dynamite, I hope "your wildest dreams come true."

Anonymous said...

Dear Skeptical. I am interested to hear your thoughts about a surgeons reputation. I live in the UK where now, it's possible for the general public to access outcome data (30 days post-op) on all surgeons and I wondered how this transperency and potential pressure could effect the surgeon themselves. How important is their reputation and what goes to make up their reputation in your opinion? Many thanks.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Anon, that is a great question. Give me a little time and I will post my response on the blog site. Thank you.

Fat Bastardo said...

40 years! That means that your were a physician when medicine was a profession and not an industry.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Yes, it was better in the old days.

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