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Category: November 2019

For this issue of Perspectives, we asked members to tell us about the most unusual or serendipitous moments they have experienced so far in their medical careers. From famous cases to famous events to meeting their significant others, our members have found that life works in the most mysterious ways.

Patient Safety Scenario #17: A Tale of Two Departments

This essay is the 17th installment of the monthly Patient Safety essays, produced by the Patient Safety Subcommittee of the Ethics and Professionalism Committee. The essays are written in the spirit of the aviation industry’s “Black Box Thinking”: in order to inform and improve our medical safety record, we need to analyze our errors. To read […]

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In Praise of Hands

By Mark Altman, MD As hand surgeons, we are all so familiar with the uniqueness in every way of the hand. We have heard wonderful testimony from our teachers and mentors over the years regarding the wonders of caring for the hand. “Serendipitously,” the day I received a request from the ASSH to contribute to Perspectives, […]

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A Case To Remember

By Elliot L. Ames, DO In December 1985, I was called to the ER to treat a 24-year-old male with a blast injury to his dominant left hand. Having completed a hand fellowship at the University of Louisville 4 months prior, I was now responsible for decision making regarding his care. In Louisville, debridement was […]

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Single Specialty Medical Centers in the Context of Healthcare Reform

By Alejandro Badia, MD, FACS The opinions, views and comments of the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the Dade County Medical Association, its officers, directors, members and employees. Reprinted with permission. Much debate is currently focused on healthcare reform, with emphasis on controlling costs, increasing access, while maintaining quality. While […]

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Calling Richard

By Martin I. Boyer, MD, MSc, FRCS(C)ASSH President I was Jim Strickland’s fellow in the winter of 1997. I walked into his office one day, and he told me about a friend of his that was looking to hire a young hand surgeon to be a member of his new Department of Orthopedic Surgery at […]

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How Serendipity Shaped My Life

By Kyle J. Chepla, MD While thinking about my response to this month’s question, I was surprised to realize the extent that my life, both professionally and personally, has been shaped and influenced by multiple serendipitous events throughout my medical career. I think many of us have probably had similar experiences and in this month’s […]

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All Thanks to Serendipity

By Andrew D. Sobel, MD It was finally time. The moment that a medical student insistent on pursuing a career in orthopedics had been waiting 3 years for. Away rotations in medical school were a thrilling experience for a variety of reasons. First, you were in a brand-new hospital with people you had never met […]

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Odds and Chances

By Ida Wagner, MD My mentor, Susan Mackinnon, presented on the topic of mentoring at the ASSH annual meeting this fall. One of her key points centered around serendipity, which is defined as the “phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.” English author Horace Walpole invented the term after reading a Persian fairy tale, “The […]

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By Robert L. Wilson, MD It was the summer of 1965, and Dr. Wilson was asked to help out at a music event at Shea Stadium…. Please enjoy this 2:16 minute video in which Dr. Wilson narrates his most unusual and serendipitous experience. Thank you for the video, Dr. Wilson, as well as for suggesting […]

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