'I want to try and maintain my independence': What we heard from surgeons this week

Alan Condon -   Print  |
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From the battle to maintain autonomy to growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus delta variant, here are four surgeon quotes that caught the attention of Becker's readers this week:

1. "I want to try and maintain my independence," — Scott Sigman, MD, of Rochester, N.Y.-based OrthoLazer Orthopedic Laser Centers, on the importance of physician autonomy and its effect on patient care.

"If that means circling the wagons with other medical groups or other orthopedic groups that are similar-minded as me, that's something that I would be very passionate about. I want to make sure that as a clinician, as a physician, that has a responsibility and respect from my patients, that I am providing the best possible care and being able to make those decisions."

2. "We will continue to institutionalize and de-professionalize physicians and the context that they have in patient care," — Bert Mandelbaum, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Kerlan Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, on what makes him nervous today.

"The patient comes first and we have to have focus and discipline to keep that in mind at all times. Sometimes what happens is we institutionalize medicine and we think about the numbers of patients' lives, of the complexities of patient population, that we really forget about the patient who is really the center of this. So everything we need to do should be and needs to continue to be patient-centric and consumer-centric focusing on their health."

3. "While a main portion of medicine will remain an art, the integration of digital technology into patient care will increasingly reduce variability and standardize certain workflows," — Alok Sharan, MD, of NJ Spine and Wellness in East Brunswick, N.J., on technologies in the consumer world making inroads into medicine.

"Our ability to predict what a patient needs when they walk in the door and the treatments they will require are becoming more precise," Dr. Sharan said. "We are already seeing this with the use of robots in the operating room. Increasingly, we are seeing this in the outpatient world/patient care as well."

4. "The biggest concern over the next six months for all physicians, including spine surgeons, is the COVID-19 pandemic," — Noam Stadlan, MD, of Evanston, Ill.-based NorthShore Neurological Institute and NorthShore Spine Center, on the spread of the delta variant.

"All healthcare workers should work toward mandating universal vaccination and making sure that the government enacts appropriate masking and distancing protocols, so that the spread of the virus is minimized and vulnerable populations are protected."

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