20 Years a Neurosurgeon
On this twentieth anniversary of my graduation from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurosurgery Residency program. What have I learned? What will I do differently in the years ahead?
3 Essential Skills for Elite Performance in Health Care
Review of Christopher Ahmad’s book SKILL: 40 Principles That Surgeons, Athletes, And Other Elite Performers Use to Achieve Mastery, along with my pick of the top three skills for neurosurgeons to adopt.
Dreams, Platforms, and Choices
Reaching the Platform means different things to different people, but for everyone, the journey requires the combination of a set of virtues and principles that range from dedication to hard work and faith.
Dorothy Klenke Nash, M.D. : Pioneer Woman and Neurosurgeon
Today, women neurosurgeons remain a rare species; they represent only about 5% of the total in the United States. But at the time Dr. Nash became one, they were even scarcer; there weren’t any at all! She was the very first neurosurgeon of her gender in the U.S.
Another Day In the Frontal Lobe: Book Review
Firlik covers the entire territory of being a neurosurgeon, the highest of highs and lowest of lows. The need for a surgeon to be a ray of hope, as well as the relater of harsh truth. Dealing with surgeons with big egos. Recognizing when a seemingly straightforward condition may indicate a potentially fatal brain infection.
Surfs Up: Trigeminal Neuralgia Surgery Makes the Difference
Ken was living the life most 70 year olds dream of until the pain struck. He was surfing the summer waves of Hawaii and skiing the winter slopes of Vail. He was getting everything he could out of retirement…until the day his life turned upside down. He began experiencing an intermittent stabbing, shock-like pain searing into his right cheek.
Parallels in Precision Video: West Point Football Coaches
It has been an incredible experience presenting my workshop on precision, concentration and execution to the West Point Football coaching staff, and then having the further opportunity to work with the young men of the Football team. Watch this video to see the West Point coaching team experience a new way of looking at stress.
Psyched Up by Daniel McGinn - Book Review
Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed, written by Harvard Business Review journalist Daniel McGinn, covers the entire landscape of mental prep for high achievement. I thought I knew the whole story on this topic, but Psyched Up taught me new techniques that I can use in my daily life.
Health Crisis On a Plane
A while back, my wife and I were on a transatlantic flight when a passenger fell into a coma. As a doctor, I rushed to her side. I soon learned she was diabetic and had overdosed on insulin. I’m a neurosurgeon and her situation was outside my specialty, but it was a pretty basic medical emergency: get glucose into her system STAT.
NWCA 2015 National Convention Keynote Ft Lauderdale
NWCA 2015 Keynote - Your performance in sport, in work and in life is the outcome of decisions and approaches that you take. Neurosurgery has taught me ways to control and shape a fraught environment. Cognitive Dominance is critical.
Saint Peter's Healthcare Video: Trigeminal Neuralgia
One of my great passions is the treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia. It is a traumatizing and painful condition. This video was prepared for Saint Peters Healthcare. Enjoy.
The Traveler's Gift : Andy Andrews
I became a huge fan of Andy Andrews, a New York Times Best Seller author, seven years ago. If you haven’t read any of his books, I urge you to pick up a copy of The Traveler’s Gift. It won’t disappoint. An Entertaining and Inspiring read.
Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield - Review
My review of Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield. A worthwhile new book to add too your reading list. How can we glimpse the world of the gods with more frequency, even regularity?
Liver surgeon Simon Bramhall marked his initials on patients during surgery. I'm at a loss for words.
Podcast NWCA All-Star Classic
To this day I see wrestling as one of the ways for me to give back to community and share the unique lessons and skills that the sport taught me. Coaching youth wrestling is a part of my life.
Death is Certain - Eventually
Who was Brittany Maynard? I was invited to contribute an article to LinkedIn discussing the question of "assisted death". She was a young California woman who was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in 2014.
Time, Carla, and Peak Performance
This presentation was made at the Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation Annual Lecture and tells the story of meeting Carla..., a young girl with a life ahead of her..., if she could only survive the next few minutes. Life is measured by momemts.
Thomas Jefferson's Brain
Book Review of Edmund Morris' Book "The Living Hand". Highly recommended by Dr. McLaughlin. Brain-like, it [The Library of Congress] silently throbs with knowledge, and invisible connections-fact to fact, thought to thought..
An Olympian Visits Trenton - Kyle Snyder
"What if…this program grew to its potential? What if these young girls and boys get the same great coaching, teaching, role models, and mentorship that I was blessed to have? What if Trenton Youth Wrestling produced an Olympian? Why not?"
Penn State Wrestling Presentation
An amazing group of young men from the National Championship wrestling program at Penn State. They inspire me to be a better doctor, coach, and person. Also great to see hometown hero Anthony Cassar from Montgomery, NJ. Thanks Coach Sanderson for the opportunity.
Wedemeyer Lecture Series
The General Albert C. Wedemeyer Strategic Lecture Series Endowment is a part of West Point’s Center for Enhanced Performance. This endowment honors the intellectual and strategic legacy of General Wedemeyer through a series of lectures, think tanks, or roundtable discussions for cadets and faculty.
From Do No Harm to Do Harm: A Neurosurgeon’s Path to Madness?
Texas neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch, was sentenced to life in prison for what news headlines described as “botched’ surgery. I'm saddened to learn that patients had suffered injury at the hands of a doctor they had trusted to help them, and by the pain and suffering of his patients, their families and friends.
West Point and Elite Performance
On February 27th, 2017 I was honored again by the opportunity to speak at West Point. People who know me are aware of my passion for finding the keys to unleashing maximum performance. Not surprisingly West Point is packed with people driven to excel.
5 Lessons I Re-learned Courtesy of Ryan Lochte
I’m pretty sure that after the dust settles, Ryan Lochte will be fine. Sure, he tarnished his reputation in action and words, but ultimately he fessed up to his big fish story. His mistake will cost him many millions of dollars of endorsement money and future earnings. I'm reminded of some key lessons about life.
Level V Leadership in Coaching and Life
Level V Leadership in Coaching and Life: Lessons Learned from Olympic Gold Medalist Wrestler Dan Gable
The first records of wrestling date back some 5000 years. Wrestling was introduced to the Ancient Olympic Games in 708 BC. I'm EXCITED about the upcoming Rio Olympics. Here's some information to help you watch the events.
Pat Summitt Basketball Coach Passes Away - A Tribute
Legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summit passed away on June 28th at the age of 64. Her final years were spent battling Alzheimer's Disease. It's difficult to grasp the the depth of her impact on women's basketball and sports in general.
On Meeting Living Legend Dan Gable
I was honored to meet wrestling legend Dan Gable. Dan was an Olympic Gold Medalist in Men's Freestyle, 68 kg. (approximately 150 pounds) He did not give up a single point in Olympic Games despite wrestling with injuries to his knee and head.
Electricians vs Carpenters
Now and then a patient will ask this question: Should I have my spinal surgery done by an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon? Which one is better?
The Passing of Doctor Peter Jannetta
The first gift Dr. Jannetta ever gave me was a Snickers bar. It was on the first day I met him during my interview. I thought to myself. Hmmmm, is this some kind of examination technique or ploy? Was it some obscure test of my suitability?
Concussion- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in the NFL
Concussion- A movie about Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in the NFL. What the movie should tell us.
Skin Infections: A Tough Opponent for Wrestlers
Many wrestlers battle skin infections. They are a fact of life in the sport. Skin infections don’t affect only a few participants. The NCAA Injury Surveillance System states that 20% of time-loss injuries in wrestling are due to these infections
RIP Dr. John Jane - On The Passing of a Giant
The neurosurgical world lost a giant this last September in the passing of Dr. John Jane, Chairman of Neurosurgery at The University of Virginia. I interfaced with him on many occasions as a medical student, as a resident, and as a colleague.
Do No Harm - Dr Henry Marsh From My Bookshelf
The New York Times and The New Yorker gave Do No Harm, by Henry Marsh. solid reviews, which it deserves. It’s by an English neurosurgeon who chronicles his career experience, the highs and lows.
Proof of Heaven
I just finished listening to Eben Alexander’s Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife. Because I am in the car driving so much I often “read” books this way and I highly recommend it.
Plebe Summer: My son at Annapolis
Extremely proud of my son Patrick who participated in the USNA "Plebe Summer" at Annapolis. The purpose of Plebe Summer is to lay the foundation of the Naval Academy's four-year professional development curriculum.
Walking and Brain Surgery
Edward Weston was a famed (in his time) long-distance and endurance walker who in 1909, at age 70, walked cross-country in 105 days. Wayne Curtis weaves a fascinating read about the power of walking.
WGN TV Video About Trigeminal Neuralgia
The wife of WGN Sports Anchor Pat Tomasulo suffers from Trigeminal Neuralgia. An informative video.
The World Needs More Wrestlers
Legendary Coach Dan Gable: "The world needs more wrestlers." I'm honored to announce that I have been selected to be Grand Marshal at the 2015 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri to be held on March 19-21, 2015.
Concentration: What a Neurosurgeon Knows
Concentration and Performance: This quick video offers a summary of some key ideas to improve performance and concentration in business, in sport, and in life. Let us know what you think.
Jannetta Society Meeting 2013
On October 21, 2013 I attended the annual CNS conference in San Francisco California. While there, he also attended the Jannetta Neuroscience Foundation annual meeting
NCAA Head Injury Settlement - Interview Dr. Mark McLaughlin
As an an ex-NCAA athlete, a neurosurgeon, and a coach, I have followed closely.the progress of the NCAA Head Injury Settlement. NJTV News interviewed me for their news feature about the preliminary settlement of $70 million in a class action suit regarding head injury and the NCAA.
West Point Wrestling Team March 2014
On March 3rd 2014, I was once again honored to present my approach to elite performance to a number of West Point Cadets.
Parallels in Precision Workshop with West Point Military Academy
Video of the Parallels in Precision Workshop with the psychology class at West Point
Elite Performance - West Point Lecture
I was honored once again to have the opportunity to speak about elite performance with some of the future leaders of America's military. The event was held March 3, 2014 with the cadets in the sports psychology class. I'm very proud of the relationship that has been forged with West Point Academy over the past year.
West Point Wakeup Call
I recently spoke at West Point to a sports psychology class. The topic was “Psychological Aspects of Elite Performance”. In the process of pulling together the talk, I learned a lot about myself and grew closer to my son.
Love Me..., Let Me Fail
To all parents out there: Carve out a half hour alone this weekend, and read the article “How to Land Your Kid in Therapy” by Dr. Lori Gottlieb.
Millionaire Coaches: Remember Reason Your Players Are in College
Super Bowl 2013 is almost upon us, with all the hype and hoopla it entails. But I am not finished with the college football season yet. I have some real concerns about the overwhelming prominence of football – at the expense of academics – that seems to be present at major universities.
Laser Surgery Update
Here's an article about laser spine surgery from Bloomberg that a fellow surgeon sent me. It's worth the read.
Why I Coach
I’m not only a doctor, I’m a parent and a coach. Coaching is one of the most rewarding activities I do. This video shares my thoughts on the rewards and value of coaching.
The Laser Myth
There are many claims made by proponents of laser spinal surgery. At the heart of these arguments is that the laser scalpel is better than other surgical options because it is more technically advanced and minimally invasive. In other words, laser surgery will theoretically cause decreased blood loss and scarring. Doctors who support laser spinal surgery maintain it is more efficient, effective and gentle than traditional methods.
Russian-American Neurosurgery Collaboration
Russian-American Neurosurgical Collaboration.
What Would Grandpa Think?
Grandpa Pizzi would not be happy reading this blog