Commentary

From the Editors: Querencia


 

In the flood of emails, periodicals, Twitter, Facebook, Doximity, Medscape, and other information that washes over surgeons every day, why should they use their precious time to read ACS Surgery News? That question is foremost in the minds of the editors of this publication as we consider news stories and commentaries for inclusion. Is this an article our readers are going to find informative, pertinent, and stimulating? We want ACS Surgery News to be a querencia: a source of reliable, vetted information that gives surgeons a place of intellectual security along the information highway.

Dr. Tyler G. Hughes

Dr. Tyler G. Hughes

What is ACS Surgery News not? It is not a sensationalist publication. If you are looking for nonverified, titillating chewing gum for the eyes, our publication is not likely to satisfy. Nor are the editors revolutionaries fighting “The Man” as rebels without a clue. While Dr. Hughes is a well-known curmudgeon of sorts, he is not interested in perpetuating the myth of how great everything used to be. Dr. Deveney happens to be a woman, but she is determined that her female colleagues be represented as surgeons first and foremost. Both have been around long enough to remember the “good old days” that weren’t always that great except in the dimming light of the past. They both view with wonder and humility the agility of the younger minds who are rising in the ranks of the ACS to positions of leadership in teaching and innovation. Especially at this time of the year, immediately after the ACS Clinical Congress, our hearts swell with pride that we may have played a small role in facilitating the incipient surgical careers of these wonderful young men and women.

Dr. Karen Deveney

Dr. Karen Deveney

These are times that try a surgeon’s soul. If one is academically oriented, serious problems loom: lack of funding for research when we still need to address so many unsolved problems and for Graduate Medical Education when we have an inadequate number of surgeons to serve our population, especially in rural areas; and the increasing corporatization of academic practice, with the constant pressure to produce more and more RVUs rather than teach or do research. Community surgeons of any stripe find their time and energy increasingly consumed by EHRs, corporate strategies, and the relentless attack of alphabet soup, such as OSHA, HIPAA, MACRA, and MIPS. These factors can be distractors and time wasters that take our attention away from our primary mission to heal the sick and wounded. All surgeons share more similarities than we have differences, and our ultimate goal is the best possible care of our patients.

The editors of ACS Surgery News understand surgery from the scrub sink up. While our mission includes keeping our readers informed about these looming thunderstorms, we are also privileged to report progress and innovations that keep coming no matter how the forces of red tape and commerce play against our profession. Bringing news of both challenges and beacons of hope for our profession with commentary and perspective from our colleagues is our objective. For the editors, this is both a mission and a pleasure. Since most of the editors and our Editorial Advisory Board (EAB), like our readers, must focus primarily on our jobs as surgeons, teachers, and researchers, we cannot read every journal or attend every meeting. The role of ACS Surgery News is to find the relevant news of interest and importance to surgeons, wherever it may be found, and to report it succinctly and accurately in a readable form. Before an article appears in ACS Surgery News, it is reviewed by the author of the paper or presentation for accuracy and reviewed by the most appropriate member of the EAB as well as by both Co-Editors for importance and relevance to our surgeon readers. We do not want to shy away from controversial topics, but endeavor to present such topics with balance and sensitivity, just as the ACS itself always attempts to do: to shed light, rather than merely heat, on all subjects that we cover in our pages.

The editors of ACS Surgery News hope that in the months and years to come, this publication can be a querencia for the surgeon: a safe and secure place to engage all the forces that a surgeon must confront to be successful. In these pages we hope you will find knowledge, wisdom, camaraderie, and support for your practice, whatever that may be.

Surgery is a life of great joy and great sorrow, sometimes happening all within the same hour. We hope to be part of the joy and to soften the sorrow by being a publication you look forward to reading and wherein you find those things that contribute to your being a great surgeon and human being.

Dr. Deveney is professor of surgery and vice chair of education in the department of surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland. She is the Co-Editor of ACS Surgery News.

Dr. Hughes is clinical professor in the department of surgery and director of medical education at the Kansas University School of Medicine, Salina Campus, and Co-Editor of ACS Surgery News.

   Comments ()