AF ablation Atrial fibrillation General Ablation General Medicine Health Care

Day 2: Atrial Fibrillation Symposium. Good doctoring…

There are many highlights of this outstanding meeting but the live cases are always a standout.  Today there were 2 from Rochester, MN and one from Boston.   Live ablation procedures on real life patients are beamed into the lecture hall via some mysterious satellite through a maze of cables.

The operators, with their NFL-coach style headsets are clearly nervous and occasional hit hurdles like you do and this makes it even more realistic. Watching the experts in the ivory towers do as you do and bobble occasionally is helpful in many ways.   Instructive surely, but mostly the confirmation is reassuring.

After 15 years in medicine it is easy to become insulated in your “cave” -actually that’s what many of the BHE staff call the EP lab.   Stepping away from the daily routine and visiting other arenas, hearing other perspectives and really studying the data – like one does before giving a presentation- all make for better doctoring.

As is often the case in medicine, the real metrics of quality are much more difficult to know and not really amendable to data acquired from paper forms or displayable on an internet site.

Many of the same determinants of good doctoring are evident in bike racers.  Like parallel tracks there is the requirement of a baseline level of ability, a persona amendable to meticulous preparation, an engagement in the “culture or process,” a self assurance to accept the instructivity of mistakes and a courage to try new things.

For my healthcare needs, I will take the doctor with poor penmanship and a lousy EMR who is motivated, engaged and enjoying the journey -one that is in the race with a number pinned on.

More brain work tomorrow.