Physician Burnout in Neurosurgery: An Under-Recognized Phenomenon

By Burnout, Health, Work-Life BalanceNo Comments

As conversations about work-life balance are becoming more prevalent, and given the stresses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a renewed interest in the issue of physician burnout. Burnout is a long-term stress reaction marked by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a lack of sense of personal accomplishment. In recent years, the rising prevalence of burnout among clinicians — more than 50 percent according to a Medscape report — has led to probing questions on how it affects access to care, patient safety and care quality. Burned-out physicians are more likely to leave their practices or the practice of medicine altogether, which reduces patients’ access to and continuity of care. Burnout can also threaten patient safety and care quality when depersonalization leads to poor interactions with patients, and when burned-out physicians suffer from impaired attention, memory and executive function. Read More

Lasting Change: Assessing the Potential Long Term Impact of COVID-19

By COVID-19, HealthNo Comments

“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court

The economic, medical, political and psychological tsunami unleashed by the COVID-19 virus is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetime. The traumatic disruption of 9-11 was limited in comparison to our current crisis. While impossible to include up to the minute statistics, already more than 15 million cases have been confirmed with at least 620,000 deaths, and U.S. unemployment is approximately 11%. Is it possible that any good will come of these months of tragedy and lock-down? What do we know about the immediate and longer-term consequences on us as humans, on the health care community and neurosurgery? I have been given the monumental task of trying to peer into that future as the Neurosurgery Blog’s focus on COVID-19 draws to a close. Read More

Aerosolization, Endonasal Surgery and the Neurosurgeon

By COVID-19, HealthNo Comments

Neurosurgeons never stop learning. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, previously obscure terms such as airflow and aerosolization — the dispersal of a substance such as medicine or viral particles in the form of an aerosol — have entered our regular lexicon. We can now readily identify which of our operating rooms has the highest airflow — usually the smallest room — and the standard for the minimum number of air exchanges per hour, which is at least 15. Read More

AANS Neurosurgeon Spotlight: The State of Neurosurgical Education

By AANS Spotlight, Burnout, COVID-19, GMENo Comments

Recent global circumstances have had considerable effects on neurosurgery. In the latest articles from AANS Neurosurgeon, the official socioeconomic publication of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), authors discuss the state of neurosurgical education. Practices have taken steps to not only adapt to a multitude of changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but to thrive among them, while helping their patients do the same. Browse the Education issue for a scientific, artistic and realistic view from those tasked with providing and navigating valuable educational experiences during a time when there is no such thing as “normal.” Read More

Neurosurgeons Launch Campaign to Protect Patient Access to Care

By Access to Care, COVID-19, Guest Post, Health Reform, MedicareNo Comments

Our health care system is under extraordinary pressure. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an uncertain financial future for health care professionals. And now, coming on the heels of this devastating pandemic, Medicare is poised to implement drastic cuts. These cuts threaten patients’ access to timely surgical care and may impact the quality of life for the people neurosurgeons care for every day. To help policymakers and the public understand how these payment cuts will hurt patients and their neurosurgical care teams, on June 18, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), along with 10 other national surgical associations, officially launched the Surgical Care Coalition (SCC). Read More

Reflecting on COVID19, the Death of George Floyd and the Need for Change

By COVID-19, Equity, Social JusticeNo Comments

“I want to touch the world.”
George Perry Floyd, Jr.

We are living in trying and turbulent times in our country. A global pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people across America and has threatened to overwhelm our health care systems in some of the worst affected areas. On top of this health crisis, we are now facing the greatest civil unrest our country has experienced in over 50 years in response to a recent series of tragic deaths of black men and women — the cataclysmic event being the deplorable death of George P. Floyd, Jr. while in police custody. Read More

COVID-19 and Prevalence of Stroke: Making Sense of the Data

By COVID-19, Health, StrokeNo Comments

The current COVID-19 pandemic has been a singular event with far-reaching societal and medical ramifications. The enormity of the crisis and the alacrity of its spread across the globe has led to a rapidly evolving understanding of the disease. Current knowledge of the pandemic and the effect of the virus on the human body may become obsolete by week’s end. The COVID-19 crisis’s impact on the care of stroke patients is emblematic of these issues. Over the past few months, several data points have emerged that have been interpreted in divergent ways. Read More