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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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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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Jannetta Symposium
Dr. Mark R. McLaughlin delivered opening remarks on the occasion of the Inaugural Peter Jannetta Symposium. A video created by the University of Pittsburg.
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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 headlines described as “botched’ surgery. I'm saddened to learn that patients 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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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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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.
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Peter Jannetta Tribute
A tribute to Dr. McLaughlin's teacher, mentor, and friend Peter Jannetta, MD. This tribute was prepared in 2010 and discusses Dr. Jannetta's achievements. With commentary from a number of leading neurosurgeons.
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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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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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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. Let's test that myth. Here are the facts.
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Russian-American Neurosurgery Collaboration
Russian-American Neurosurgical Collaboration.
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What Would Grandpa Think?
Grandpa Pizzi would not be happy reading this blog