All surgeons want to be better surgeons... They work hard to be respected by their peers, appreciated by their patients, and valued by their communities. Most of the estimated 200 million surgeries performed worldwide every year go as anticipated, with positive patient outcomes. However, the number of surgical complications and preventable medical errors still remains unacceptably high. Why are experienced surgeons still creating so many adverse events? More importantly, what can surgeons do to better address the situation? Blood, Sweat and Tears — Becoming a Better Surgeon seeks to answer these questions. The book provides pragmatic examples on how good surgeons can grow from being technically brilliant to becoming empathetic and capable of providing safe, compassionate, and more effective patient care.
Blood, Sweat and Tears — Becoming a Better Surgeon follows trauma surgeon Philip Stahel's 20-year journey from his 'rookie years' in internship and residency, to his development as a global patient safety advocate, renowned academician and teacher, and compassionate surgeon. The book touches on why our current patient safety protocols and checklists fail to keep patients safe and how a physician-driven initiative with credible leadership is needed to build a sustainable 'culture of patient safety.' Written for a wide audience and based on the paradigm that “good judgment comes from experience which comes from poor judgment”, Blood, Sweat and Tears — Becoming a Better Surgeon provides in-depth coverage of all the critical and timely components of safe surgical care, relates practical tips for improving the quality of partnerships between surgeons and patients, and offers a practical guide on how to reduce the learning curve to becoming a better surgeon.
1) I applaud Dr. Stahel for presenting a rich compilation of his honest and remarkable first-hand experiences and the collective work of doctors and health care leaders to reduce the endemic variation in medical quality that contributes to the #3 cause of death in the U.S. today — medical care itself.
Marty Makary MD, Author of The New York Times bestseller, Unaccountable
2) “Blood, Sweat & Tears” is a great book, one of a kind, and destined to be a medical classic. What makes the book exceptional is the narrative about a difficult human endeavor, often done imperfectly, by humans who have been told they should be ‘perfect’. This quintessential paradox is why this book is a practical story about life and will likely be of interest and enjoyment to many outside the realm of medicine.
Wade Smith MD, Co-founding Editor, Patient Safety in Surgery
3) Blood, Sweat & Tears: How to Become a Better Surgeon is a remarkable book that emphasizes empathy and communication, provocatively authored by a surgeon. However, as the reader will soon discover, Philip Stahel is not your ordinary surgeon. I strongly recommend every health care provider read this book. I further recommend this book be mandatory reading annually for every medical student, intern, resident and fellow-in-training, most especially chapters 3 and 4, which epitomize William Osler's advice, "Listen to the patient - he is telling you the diagnosis". In these 20 chapters, the many other insightful quotes alone are worth the purchase price.
Jerome M.Buckley, MD
Retired CEO/Chairman, COPIC Companies
Associate Clinical Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine
4) The life of a surgeon is difficult. Life and limb threatening problems do not necessarily occur at convenient times. Surgery is not for the weak as it requires physical strength, emotional stamina, and unquenchable intellectual curiosity. Underneath these prerequisites
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