April 15, 2009

This is My First Surgery

If you had to have heart surgery, you'd want to know if your surgeon was experienced or not, correct? Because, statistically, the failure rate for first-time surgeons is significantly higher.

However, if no one allowed themselves to be the guinea pigs for first-time surgeons, all of the experienced ones would eventually die out. So, what's the best way to give these first-time surgeons their first try? And is there any answer that isn't going to leave the poorest people in the hands of the youthful?


Matt J said...

I hope that inexperienced surgeons assist experienced surgeons at increasing levels for dozens of surgeries before they are allowed to conduct the surgery alone.

I'm sorry...I know that's not the answer you want.

So... instead of poorest people, let's go with convicts or Nazis.

Eric Olsen said...

no, that's a good answer. i wonder if they're doing that now, though. if so, it's not helping enough, in terms of pure stats.

Dr. Teenager said...

That is what they do now, its part of interning and then their surgical residency. They progress from observing and assisting the experienced docs to being observed and assisted by them. But I guess no matter how much training you get along the way you eventually have to go it alone. I've heard many mistakes happen by inexperienced ER docs and nurses making mistakes or getting patients confused just b/c of the faster pace and higher case volume. I wonder how it compares to surgery mistakes.

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