Be Smooth! - Life improvement strategies for the surgeon who wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 42

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon just a little better…

In this mini-podcast episode, Jeff welcomes orthopaedic trauma surgeon Assistant Program Director for Broward Health Orthopedic Residency, Brian J. Cross, MD, or “BJ.”

The topic of discussion in this episode is: Be Smooth! More specifically, BJ champions the mantra, “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast.”

What does BJ mean by this?

BJ is an avid fly fisherman and military training enthusiast. On one trip to the everglades with his friend and fishing guide, Mark Giacobba, Mark recognized a simple, yet incidental move BJ was doing that would spook the fish, in turn ruining their chances of catching anything. To negate this habit, Mark told BJ, “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast.”

Coincidentally, BJ also happened across this concept later while studying how military snipers train. If we take our time to learn a repeatable skill, eventually the skill will become so ingrained that we can do it smoothly. With enough practice, our ability to perform this smooth skill will get faster and faster.

Shortly after that BJ started considering how he could apply this concept in surgery. One example is learning new surgical skills as a resident. BJ’s residency has adopted this saying as a mantra, and his surgical residents have improved their ability AND speed during procedures.

What steps does BJ suggest we take to incorporate this concept?

  • Step 1 - Slow down. Ignore your speed.

  • Step 2 - Take your time. Focus on learning proper technique.  

  • Step 3 - Practice technique. The speed will come.

Most importantly, find opportunities to slow down the process to improve overall effectiveness!

 

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Brian "BJ" Cross, DO


Dr. Brian Cross is an orthopaedic  trauma surgeon and Assistant Program Director for Broward Health Orthopedic Residency in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He received his medical degree from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years. When he is not taking care of patients and teaching orthopaedic residents, Brian is spending time with his family. He enjoys participating in outdoor activities like fly fishing to get away from the grind.


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Looking Back! Life improvement strategies for the surgeon that wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 19

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon just a little better…

This week, we are welcoming to the mini-Podcast Dr. Benjamin Szerlip, an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery in Austin, Texas. This week, Dr. Szerlip talks to us about looking back, and identifying things we know now, and that we wish we'd known at the start. Dr Szerlip shares how his training prepared him well for clinical practice of medicine, but how his training didn't prepare him for other aspects. He lacked knowledge in the business of medicine, including the financial knowledge needed about billing and overheads, and the importance of managing online reputation to instill confidence. Looking back is an opportunity for reflection, awareness and self-improvement that allows us to identify areas for performance improvement. 

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How does he suggest we can look back? By doing the following:

  • Step 1 - Look back, what do you wish you'd learned over the past few years?

  • Step 2 - Then, research your options for learning more 

  • Step 3 - Lastly, make a small investment to follow up on those options

Most importantly, start looking back this week and determine one area you'd like to learn more about! 

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Szerlip, he is a fellowship trained Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery of the shoulder and knee including joint replacement, rotator cuff repair, and other sports medicine injuries.

Looking back is a perfect example of how surgeons can improve their effectiveness inside and outside of the OR.

Post-Game Debrief - Life improvement strategies for the surgeon that wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 18

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon just a little better…

This week, we are welcoming back onto the mini-Podcast Dr. Jonathan Cabin, board-certified facial plastic & reconstructive surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. This week, Dr. Cabin will talk to us about the post-game debrief, specifically how surgeons arealso high performance athletes because need team-work and stamina. One of the shortcomings of medical training, however, is that we're not encourages to fine-tune our minds and bodies like athletes, which impacts performance. As a result, he recommends that we start studying our successes and failures in order to make improvements where necessary. 

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How does he suggest we start monitoring our performance? By doing the following:

  • Start taking notes about each surgery

  • Spend about 2 mins after each case, recording your thoughts about the case and the surrounding variables

  • Use a tool that works for you: a journal, your phone, or a program like Evernote

  • Over time, you'll start to realize great opportunities for performance improvement!

Most importantly, start your post-game debrief this week! 

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Jonathan Cabin, he is a board-certified facial plastic & reconstructive surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. His areas of expertise include surgical and non-surgical facial rejuvenation, primary and revision rhinoplasty, facial reconstruction, and migraine surgery. In addition to caring for his patients, Dr. Cabin has published textbook chapters on facial rejuvenation and rhinoplasty techniques, as well as written peer-review articles examining a wide range of topics, from ear reconstruction and the use of Botox in the treatment of facial paralysis. He is passionate about helping those in need, and has travelled abroad to Peru and China to perform much-needed surgery on children with cleft lips and palates. Outside of medicine, Dr. Cabin is an avid skier and recreational photographer, and enjoys live music, international travel and spending time with his family.

The Post-Game Debrief is a perfect example of how surgeons can improve their effectiveness inside and outside of the OR.

Keep It Simple - Life improvement strategies for the surgeon that wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 17

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon just a little better…

This week on the Mini-Podcast we are talking about one of the 8 PRACTICEs of Highly Successful Surgeons, namely the ability to deal with problems and dilemmas with complex problem solving through simplicity, by essentially: Keeping It Simple. This is because the easier something is to understand and use, the more likely it is to be adopted and engaged with. When we get stuck in complexity and things seem harder than they are, that's when we need to change our practices, habits and routines and stop over-complicating the issue. 

To summarize, Keeping It Simple helps...

  • When you feel you're climbing a mountain ("Just keep peddling!")

  • When you feel you're running into a headwind ("Just keep running!")

  • When you're feeling burned out ("Slow things down!")

Consider 2 options:

  1. Use Keep It Simple (KIS)

  2. Use the KISS strategy where the second 'S' is silence: you take one idea and silence the others

Most importantly, pick a complex issue in your life, hit the pause button and apply KIS or KISS this week!

Keeping It Simple is a perfect example of how surgeons can improve their effectiveness inside and outside of the OR.

Visualization - Life improvement strategies for the surgeon that wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 13

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon just a little better…

This week on the Mini-Podcast we are talking about visualization, which is the mental process of focusing on an outcome or successful completion, of a series of tasks. It's a mental practice that you can apply before taking action or doing an activity, and can be applied for positive change and performance improvement. Studies have shown that people who visualize ahead of time, are more able to adapt if things don't go to plan. 

How do you apply Visualization?

By doing the following:

  • Visualize the  whole activity, to look at the hazards, approaches and expectations

  • Anticipate the hazards, approaches and expectations and reinforce the end-goal

  • Let the last thoughts be positive

Most importantly, start by visualizing the simple steps as you want them to occur and commit to doing this a few times this week!

Visualization is a perfect example of how surgeons can improve their effectiveness inside and outside of the OR.