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In My Opinion

February 6, 2003
In 1993 I finished my cardiothoracic residency and an additional year as the chief resident at the "number one cardiac surgery hospital in the country." I felt like Leonardo Dicaprio in Titanic: " I was on top of the world." So how is it that nine years later I've been unemployed for 3 months and actively looking for a job for 9 months without success?
December 29, 2002
The learning curve is no stranger to individuals involved in learning surgical techniques, and can be painfully obvious to those involved in the training. Yet, there is one aspect of the learning curve that has eluded me for many years. I cannot identify what I learned or taught exactly with pinpoint accuracy to come off that steep slope. Sometimes it is not an exact and precise skill, but rather time and repetition alone.
December 1, 2002
Even cardiothoracic surgeons, who are characteristically fearless in facing their patients' complex problems decisively, may sometimes find it hard to be equally resolute when confronting certain challenges in their personal lives. In particular, some surgeons are deeply apprehensive about the prospect of retirement, particularly as it involves making a transition to life outside the operating room.
October 16, 2002
Presently, during the Technological era (arbitrarily defined as the beginning of jet travel) and with increasingly sophisticated means of travel and communication, man finds him/herself less constrained by regular work hours and workplaces. Much work can be performed out of the home (if one wishes) and at any time of the day or night. Travel is rapid and communication almost instantaneous.
October 16, 2002
As members of our cardiothoracic surgical specialty are subjected to an increasing frequency and variety of stresses, ethical considerations are assuming a more prominent role in everyday practice. Frustrated by the ever-changing procedural and financial restrictions of Medicare and managed care; by the complexities of business arrangements with partners, competitors, referring physicians and hospitals; by the inducements to utilize new drugs, devices and protocols; by the unrelenting pressure to lower morbidity and expected/ observed mortality rates; by shortening hospital lengths of stays and constraining hospital costs, today's surgeons are experiencing difficulties in avoiding conflicts of interest or obligation. Consequently, there is added responsibility to function as moral fiduciaries and patient advocates, protecting and promoting the patients' best interes
July 24, 2002
The Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland SCTS was founded in 1934 and was initially devoted to the practice of thoracic surgery, which at that time was mostly for tuberculosis. After World War II, with such pioneers as Lord Brock and Sir Thomas Holmes-Sellors, cardiac surgery was introduced and the number of cardiothoracic surgeons steadily increased.
May 28, 2002
Although one may cast doubt upon the significance of the World Congress of the International Society in the current era of internet or satellite transmission, nobody denies the importance of international communication. English is the international language at this moment and will continue to be so as long as the worldwide webs are growing. It is probably fair to say that this is a real advantage for the native English (NE) speakers and quite a burden for those who must use English as the second language (SL).
April 2, 2002
From November 2000 until November 2001, I served as president of the BACTS, The Belgian Association of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. Our sixth General Assembly was held on November 10, 2001 and for my Presidential Address I chose this quotation from Winston Churchill: "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning".
March 18, 2002
The following represents my views and experiences as a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. It is my hope that the reader will gain some insight into a specialty that has undergone major changes in the last decades.
February 20, 2002
A few weeks ago I took a weekend trip to Denver from my home in Billings, Montana. I arrived at the airport 90 minutes early as directed. Three minutes later I was ready to board, as things are a little slow in Billings at 0600 on Saturday morning. Two baby faced National Guard conscripts patrolled the airport trying to look tough.

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