Articles

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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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Speechless
Liver surgeon Simon Bramhall marked his initials on patients during surgery. I'm at a loss for words.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Level V Leadership in Coaching and Life
Level V Leadership in Coaching and Life: Lessons Learned from Olympic Gold Medalist Wrestler Dan Gable
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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.
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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.
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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?
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Parallels in Precision Workshop with West Point Military Academy
Video of the Parallels in Precision Workshop with the psychology class at West Point
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Laser Surgery Update
Here's an article about laser spine surgery from Bloomberg that a fellow surgeon sent me. It's worth the read.
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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.
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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.
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What Would Grandpa Think?
Grandpa Pizzi would not be happy reading this blog