Let me share with you what most nurses, doctors, and medical personnel already know, “Doctors Are Not Created Equal”. Dr. Danny O. Jacobs has expressed this in his editorial, “Not All Surgeons are the Same”. Yet most patients take little or no time at all to do the research. We spend more time researching the smartphone we want than the surgeon who will perform a life changing procedure.
In Dr. Jacobs editorial “Cut Well, Sew Well, Do Well?” published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the dean wrote that the high standards of surgical procedure are universally taught in medical school but do not always translate to the operating room. Jacobs also commented on a study in which surgeons’ voluntarily submitted videos of themselves performing laparoscopic gastric bypass. Other surgeons anonymously evaluated these videos for technical proficiency on a scale of 1 to 5. The bottom 25 percent of those who were evaluated had dramatically higher complication rates, higher mortality rates, longer operations, higher rates of readmission, and higher rates of re-operation compared to the top-ranked quartile.
These findings “strongly suggest that the skill of fully trained, practicing surgeons does influence outcomes,” wrote Jacobs. We completely agree!
A nurse case manager has a front row seat and goes through all steps of this process, from diagnosis to treatment planning and surgical recommendations. We travel through pre-operative then post-operative teaching and assessments, post-operative rehab efforts and recovery. Not all doctors take pride in preparation and aftercare. We also sit through the complications and variables. Expert surgeons are routinely sought out by patients and esteemed by peers. You need to know who you are dealing with, question their skill level, know their outcomes, and understand that medicine is not an exact science.
  • References: The University of Texas Medical, Galveston, Texas. Dr. Jacobs’s editorial “Cut Well, Sew Well, Do Well?”