SurgeonMasters Meetup at AAOS Annual Meeting

This month’s SurgeonMasters Monthly TeleConference took place during the AAOS Annual Meeting and coincided with our Meetup at Bay City Brewing Company in San Diego. 

Listen-in to hear SurgeonMasters founder, Dr. Jeff Smith conducting live-interviews with fellow surgeons at the event — including Bay City Brewing Company co-owner and AAOS Fellow Dr. Ben DuBois.

Please BE AWARE that there are breaks in the audio at times. Lots of great content, so hang with the audio glitches.

What is SurgeonMasters All About?

This month’s SurgeonMasters Live Group Call is all about getting you genuine, uncensored answers to your questions about SurgeonMasters.

Questions like: How can I (like Jeff) …

  • Decrease my stress
  • Master my frustration
  • Take control of my life
  • Revitalize my surgical practice
  • Become insanely productive
  • And become more involved in this movement

And: What can you expect from a ...

  • SurgeonMasters Live Group Call
  • SurgeonMasters Meetup
  • Life Improvement Strategies for the Surgeon Who Wants More ... in 10 Minutes - our new Mini-Podcasts
  • blog from Jeff Smith, MD

We get so many questions and we get them so often, that we want to spend this month getting ALL of them answered. 

Every question you’ve ever wanted to ask about SurgeonMasters, listen to the recording to hear the answers. 

Opening Night: Pushing the Envelope

Some of you were able to HEAR our 3 1/2 hour opening session of Orthopaedic Trauma & Fracture  Care: Pushing the Envelope, and I know you heard a fantastic session on Surgeon Challenges. You are welcome to download that file [here/AnyMeeting Recording]. 

We captured the audio live! Video was problematic. :-/ If you are interested in our topics for Thursday evening, I will be packaging the VIDEO recordings of each presentation and making those available where I have permission from each of the speakers. Let me know if you have an interest!!

5:30pm - Taking Knowledge from Conference to Practice: Barriers to Change (me)
6:00pm - How to Know Our Own Complication Rates, with Philip Stahel, MD
6:30pm - Responding vs. Reacting to Your Environment, with Taylor Riall, MD
7:00pm - My Worst Cases of My Career and Why, with Payam Tabrizi, MD
7:30pm - A Case Gone Wrong: STOP and RECOVER, with David Dalstrom, MD
8:00pm - Panel Discussion & Interactive Audience Q/A
8:30pm - Performance Psychology: The Science of Mental Toughness, with Simon Marshall, PhD


Getting into the Holiday Spirit

The holidays are here and everywhere you look, people are taking time-out to bask in the joy of the season.

But as a surgeon, it might not feel like you have the time to bask in that joy.

Holiday parties, gift shopping, travel plans, family dinners, charity events...the list goes on.

Tack on the 14 hour days spent at the hospital and the holidays can feel like less of a blessing and more of a burden.

We spoke about getting into the spirit, when the spirit may be lost, and explore strategies for honoring our families, our relationships, and for healing our own spirit through focused nurturing.

What You’ll Get From The Call?

  • To help surgeons find the spirit when it feels lost

  • To highlight how there IS time to enjoy the holidays in spite of a busy schedule

  • To explore strategies for honoring our families and relationships

  • To Illustrate the power of nurturing our own spirit

Humanitarian Missions - A Way to Round Out Your Surgical Career - Young or Old

Thank you to everyone who made it to our call a few days ago where we featured guests Rafael Neiman, MD and Ray Imatani, MD who had taken time from their surgical practices to go on Humanitarian Missions.

Dr. Neiman and Dr. Imatani travelled to developing countries like Indonesia, Rwanda and Honduras on Humanitarian Missions - locations where people don’t readily have access to doctors and surgeons. The lack of healthcare in these countries affected Dr. Neiman and Dr. Imatani significantly, as they witnessed and were humbled by the unmatched gratitude of their patients and the dedicated care of the local providers. Both surgeons agreed that it was even more gratifying than that they could have ever imagined and having a strong desire to do it again.

The obvious need of the patients in these countries gives us new perspective and has the potential to reinvigorate our sense of purpose. Seeing the impact that we can have on the lives of these patients and the local providers and the gratitude is a powerful antidote to burnout. The impact and the connection doesn't need to end with the end of the mission. Dr. Neiman shared with us how his involvement continues on a weekly basis with one of the local surgeons in Honduras, allowing him to follow-up on existing patients and give advice on new patients.

We invite you to revisit the recorded version, as we discussed the benefits of going on Humanitarian Missions with Dr. Neiman and Dr. Imatani, including: 

  • Being flexible to adjust in each of these experiences
  • Preparing, by talking to others that have gone before you
  • Allowing the experience to bring you purpose, connections, and many other benefits
  • Having the opportunity to share your knowledge and skill with a part of the world that has a tremendous need

Awake at the Wound - Using Performance Coaching in a Training Program

During this month’s call, we met Dr. David Hanscom. His resume is very impressive. He is an orthopedic spine surgeon at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA and co-director of the Swedish Neuroscience Spine fellowship.

His current clinical efforts are focused on optimizing patient outcomes by systematically addressing all of the variables that affect pain. He has written a book, Back in Control: A Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain. The variables addressed are sleep, the central nervous system, medication management, goal setting, education, and aggressive soft tissue rehabilitation. It is a largely self-directed process and is also implemented before any elective surgery.

In 2006, Dr. Hanscom incorporated athletic performance principles into his surgical practice by working with a performance coach, David Elaimy. He and David have been incorporating these concepts into the fellowship training since 2010. The goal is to deliver a consistent performance regardless of the difficulty of the case and situation. The tools are applicable in and out of the OR. 

Dr. Hanscom introduced us to Awake at the Wound, which integrates the concepts from The Talent Code by Dan Coyle, and lessons learned from a 36-year career in medicine. One of his former fellows even shared his personal experience with the training!

What you’ll get from the call?

  • Background about Dr. Hanscom's experience with anxiety and burnout

  • An introduction to Awake at the Wound

  • Performance = Skill - Interference

  • How to exercise functional decision making

  • And more...

Dr. Hanscom is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in complex spine problems in all areas of the spine. He has expertise in adult and pediatric spinal deformities such as scoliosis and kyphosis. A significant part of his practice is devoted to performing surgery on patients who have had multiple prior spine surgeries. He works for Swedish Neuroscience Specialists in Seattle, WA with eight neurosurgeons and a physiatrist.

New Paradigm in the Management of Osteomyelitis

On our special SurgeonMasters Live Group Call this month, we went out on a limb, and changed the date and the format! We were not on the 3rd Thursday of the month, and we did a Live Video Conference instead of our usual TeleConference.

What went great? We heard an excellent presentation from Dr. David Lowenberg, Clinical Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University. And, we honored brilliant master surgeon, the late George Cierny, MD!

What was shared by Dr. Lowenberg about Osteomyelitis?

  • How and why antibiotic resistance can develop so rapidly
  • What a biofilm is, and how that limits the effectiveness of conventional treatment methods.
  • Aggressive surgical debridement and dead-space management is critical
  • His highly informed perspective on other methods used still today

In Honor and Memory of George Cierny, MD

In Honor and Memory of George Cierny, MD

Women In Surgery: Maintaining a Positive Attitude

This SurgeonMasters Live Group Call touched on the tough subject of being a female in the surgical world, specifically, the often overlooked challenge of trying to play mother, daughter, spouse, sister, friend, and surgical leader all at the same time as well as unconscious gender biases.

SurgeonMasters are:

  • Seeking performance improvement through peer-group mentoring

  • Learning to better follow our passion, while maintaining self-care

  • Creating strategies to improve communication, manage time, and inspire ourselves and others to be successful Surgeons!

and on this call...

  • Mastering the maintenance of a positive attitude in spite of existing gender biases

  • Learning the give and take of playing mother, daughter, spouse, sister, friend, and surgical leader

Thanks to Jennifer Weiss, MD, (left) Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon from Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles and Taylor Riall, MD, (right) General Surgeon / Surgical Oncologist at University of Arizona - Banner for contributing as peer mentors on our call!

Check out the July 2016 Symposium: Women and Underrepresented Minorities in Orthopaedics in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research (CORR) here.

Managing the First Few Months of Your Fellowship, Residency Year, and Internship with Less Stress

Have you heard of the July Effect? There is actually little evidence that there is much of an increase in patient harm or medical errors during the month of July. However, this does not mean that it is not a stressful time for all of you taking on new responsibilities. You are learning more and more medical and surgical knowledge. You are developing new surgical techniques and skills. However, there is increasing evidence that your success is much more dependent upon many other skills, such as time management, communication skills, and learning empathy. 

Now is the best time to develop these critical habits!

What is a Mastermind? How to Set One Up?

This month I'll be speaking in-detail on the topic of "What is a Mastermind? How to Set One Up?"

For those completely unaware, Mastermind groups are a great resource for all variety of professionals looking to brainstorm, learn, and actively participate in an environment that cultivates both professional and personal development. Members of a Mastermind share at least one over-arching interest, and help each other set real, achievable goals.

On the Live Call this month we'll be talking about: 

  • What is a Mastermind? and 
  • How to Set One Up?

Locum Tenens - An Option for Semi-Retirement

This month we'll have a special guest, Dr. Raymond Imatani! 

For over a 10 year period, Ray has done almost a dozen major locum tenens jobs around the country and once in New Zealand. Most of those jobs were for 3-6 months at a time.  Locum tenens has allowed him to virtually eliminate overhead, but to still maintain a surgical practice many years longer than he anticipated and to enjoy travel with his wife.  Ray now has a good feel for the industry and this type of work, and he has kindly agreed to share what he has learned with all of us.