What We’re Reading: 11/22/19


A few highlights from around the web that made it into our feeds this week.

Good Leaders Make Good Doctors

What does leadership mean to you? ‘Leadership’ is a word thrown around so frequently it sometimes loses meaning, but this article depicts the cultural transformation that can occur when leadership training is taken seriously. Strong leaders are good for patients, for doctors, and for the medical profession on a whole.

“We know culture matters,” says Dr. Elizabeth Bradley, co-creator of the Leadership Saves Lives initiative. “But we wanted to show that you can take tangible steps to improve culture by training leaders. We thought we’d see an effect. We didn’t expect to see it so fast.” (From nytimes.com)

Surgery for Blocked Arteries Is Often Unwarranted, Researchers Find

The benefits of stents and bypass surgery have been studied a lot in the last few years—showing that surgical intervention is often overused. The newest study, a large clinical trial called Ischemia, found that drug therapy alone may save lives as effectively as bypass or stenting procedures.

This study is important because it reinforces much of what previous research has indicated: medical therapy is generally the best starting approach in treatment for coronary artery disease. But that doesn’t mean treatment is black and white, heart disease is complicated, and sometimes stenting or bypass is still the best option. What matters is that all treatment approaches are considered. (From nytimes.com)

Off Script: Will ISCHEMIA Answer Our Most Pressing Questions? 

Want to know what the results of the Ischemia Trial (discussed in the article above) mean to one of our cardiologists?  This essay by Ajay Kirtane, MD, Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, is a bit technical but a fantastic follow-up read. Dr. Kirtane dissects the trial in detail, with fair and balanced reasoning, and lays out a series of new questions to explore in the wake of these findings.

“Rest assured that there will be many opportunities to analyze and dissect the trial going forward. Noninvasive clinicians, imagers, interventionalists, cardiac surgeons—in fact any physicians who take care of patients with coronary artery disease—should all have interest in these important trial results,” says Dr. Kirtane. “One of the best things about our field is that the exercise of trial interpretation isn’t just academically fulfilling, but it also has real clinical application for our patients with a highly prevalent disease.” (From tctmd.com)

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