Dr. Ramshaw

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    • #28839
      Good intentions
      Participant

      Recently I came across a rebuttal to Dr. Ramshaw’s article about his surgery error. I looked around the internet to see what he was up to and find that he seems to have left the work of the physician behind. His new effort is focused on creating an equation-based care system that somehow turns the patient’s welfare in to just another variable , to be minimized or increased as appropriate to make the “system” more efficient..

      It’s interesting reading, especially the chapters of his forthcoming book (he’s an author now too), in which he discusses hernia repair in great depth without mentioning long-term or chronic pain once.

      If you decide to look through these links, recall that Dr. Ramshaw was once known as an expert in hernia repair, renowned on the hernia industry presentation circuit. Strange to see how he is dissociating himself from the personal doctor-patient relationship.

    • #28840
      Good intentions
      Participant
    • #28841
      Good intentions
      Participant
    • #28842
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      I just read the Opinion piece by Dr. Ramshaw. From a surgeon’s perspective, I can totally relate.

      Like Dr. Ramshaw, I left the volume-based practice that is imposed on so many of us who are (used to be) employed by an Institution. I used to be the busiest general surgeon faculty in my hospital, and I was being pushed each year to do more and more operations. I had to meet a minimum number of work units; that goal number was random and kept increasing over time. Meanwhile, similar to Dr. Ramshaw, because of my expertise in the field, I was attracting more and more complicated patients that required more of my time and skill.

      The current US medical system is not made to meet the needs of complex patients. I left the volume-based system that Dr. Ramshaw describes. Now, as my own boss, I determine how much time I provide to each of my patients and how many operations I perform each day. I focus on quality, not quantity. I do not have a minimum number of work units I must meet each year. No one is punishing me for spending too much time with my patients. I am happier, and I am able to meet the needs of my patients.

      Dr. Ramshaw has taken a different route in order to address the burnout that many of us surgeons experience. I know his story and why he has (for now) left clinical practice. The hernia specialty community can be challenging. Patients are in pain, some are suicidal, and they are seeking our help while armed with a lot of preconceived notions and ideas about what they believe is the solution to their problems and needs. Dr. Ramshaw has chosen to use his time and experience to help improve the system. He should not be disparaged for that.

      I love what I do, and being my own boss has significantly reduced the burnout. Meanwhile, as have other hernia specialists, I have had death threats, personal attacks and harasssments by phone, email, and on social media. Some surgeons have required police or security involved or have changed jobs and locations to flee potential life-threatening actions.

      As a direct result of these attacks and the stress of providing to complex patients with chronic pain (which most surgeons are not exposed to) in addition to the baseline stress of operating on patients and dealing with potential complications (which most surgeons are exposed to), we are losing many talented hernia specialists and at the end, less of us will remain to treat hernia-related complications.

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