sutures newsletter

PRODUCED BY AND FOR MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY February 2016 | Archived Issues

Mark Your Calendar


Surgery Grand Rounds

Click the "read more" to see information about upcoming Surgery Grand Rounds.

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Grand Rounds

Click here to view a schedule of all upcoming grand rounds.


Education Schedule

Click the PDF links below to see the Department of Surgery's education schedule.

Education Schedule - February 2016 (PDF)  


Surgery Scheduling

Click the "read more" for hours and contact information for surgery scheduling.

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All for One …

Message From the Chair

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons meeting in Santa Barbara (Jan. 15-17) and the Pacific Coast Surgical meeting (Feb. 13-15). The best part of both meetings was the continued and remarkable academic productivity of our residents, faculty and attending staff, as evidenced by a large number of presentations in the poster, specialty and plenary sessions.

» Read more

Sterile Processing - Change to Organizational Structure

To better align the services that support period and procedural areas, vice presidential oversight for the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) — formerly known as Central Processing — has transitioned to Bryan Croft, vice president of Service Line Operations. Director leadership of SPD has moved to Jan Decker, service line director, and Shab Nicks, health system director.

» Read more

Two Minutes With …

This question-and-answer feature will help you get to know some of the physicians in the Cedars-Sinai Department of Surgery. This month's installment features Joshua Chan, MD, and Irene Kim, MD.


» Read more

Topics Sought for Morgenstern Debate

Morgenstern

The 13th annual Dr. Leon Morgenstern Great Debates in Clinical Medicine Resident Competition will convene on Friday, June 3. The debate committee is soliciting topics.



» Read more

Course Covers Radiation Safety During Fluoroscopy

Cedars-Sinai physicians can attend a new class on radiation safety during fluoroscopy. The first session of the class, developed in response to a change in state law, will take place Monday, Feb. 29, at 7:30 a.m. in Harvey Morse Auditorium.

» Read more

'We Were Dry When We Closed'

Several people responded to last month's question about the sign in Latin above the doorway to OR7. The sign reads "Ubi coivimus eramus sicci." Here's what readers of Sutures thought the sign meant.

» Read more

Cedars-Sinai Hosts CIRM-Israel Pact Signing

CIRM and Israel

Cedars-Sinai on Feb. 8 hosted the signing of a major agreement to advance U.S-Israeli collaboration on stem cell research. The pact, between the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Israel's Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, provides a new framework to foster global partnerships and joint funding opportunities in regenerative medicine.

» Read more

Circle of Friends Honorees for January

Circle of Friends

The Circle of Friends program honored 165 people in January. Circle of Friends allows grateful patients to make a donation in honor of the physicians, nurses, caregivers and others who have made a difference during their time at Cedars-Sinai.

» Read more

All for One …

Message From the Chair

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons meeting in Santa Barbara (Jan. 15-17) and the Pacific Coast Surgical meeting (Feb. 13-15). The best part of both meetings was the continued and remarkable academic productivity of our residents, faculty and attending staff, as evidenced by a large number of presentations in the poster, specialty and plenary sessions.

The outstanding presentations spanned the entirety of surgical disciplines to include trauma, thoracic surgery, cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, resident curriculum changes and GI surgery. Participants included Matt Bloom, MD, Doug Liou, MD, Marissa Srour, MD, Cory Donovan, MD, Jenny Hong, MD, Derek Serna-Gallegos, MD, Galinos Barmparas, MD, Monica Jain, MD, Heidi Reich, MD, Ara Ko, MD, Justin Steggerda, MD, Joshua Chan, MD, Daisy Chou, MD, and Jan Kaminski, MD.

Ara Ko was the champion of Trauma Jeopardy, continuing Cedars-Sinai's outstanding performance in these intellectual Feats of Strength (please excuse the Seinfeld Festivus reference). Shirin Towfigh, MD, was the latest in a long list of Cedars-Sinai physicians to serve as president of the SoCal ACS, and Farin Amersi, MD, Ed Phillips, MD, and Dan Margulies, MD, continue in their leadership roles within both organizations.

In these meetings, I also had the chance to discuss some favorite topics — career development and the quest for work-life balance. Both are needed to maintain fulfillment throughout a career. That said, balancing professional and personal goals has undoubtedly been a challenge for surgeons since Galen's time.

One of the most interesting byproducts of giving such a talk is receiving informal and very personal feedback from a large number of people at different stages of their careers. While the perspective of old and young varies a bit, I am almost always impressed with the maturity of most surgeons, irrespective of age.

From such discussions and personal experience, it is clear that no matter how enlightened you are, it is impossible not to occasionally encounter stressful periods that test your equilibrium. The key is recognizing the signs of such tension and learning to do what defuses it. No question, this is far easier said than done.

For a start, it requires the insight to notice how short we sometimes get with others after being up all night or the frustration that we have trouble controlling when we are trying to get an emergency case booked into the O.R. while figuring out how we can ever attend to a packed patient waiting room. Understanding the impact of these challenges will not prevent their occurrence, as they basically come with high-stress professions, but the behaviors and attitudes that neutralize our negative emotions can be learned with maturity. These coping mechanisms may be different for each of us.

One of the other themes that came through this year was the understanding that peer support is an indispensable factor in maintaining an "even strain," no matter what stage of your career you are occupying. While we all can understand it is a good deed to give a stressed colleague a chance to vent, the converse (i.e. accepting support) may be an even greater test for many of us. After all, surgeons are among the most self-reliant of people. Certainly no patient wants a surgeon who says, "I sure hope I can do a successful operation." Still, the down side of our well-documented confidence in our technical skills is often an inability to admit when we need help in other areas and accept it when it is offered.

I was reminded of the value of such support when looking over the audience at the recent meetings. When a Cedars-Sinai resident, fellow or attending was presenting at the podium or competing in one of the resident competitions, their peers were uniformly in the audience, cheering them on.

Such collegiality and mutual support has become a consistent theme in our residency programs and comes through very positively during recruitment season. As much as anything, it defines the environment that has been established here and goes a long way to making it fun to go to work for all of us.

Bruce L. Gewertz, MD
Surgeon-in-Chief
H and S Nichols Distinguished Chair in Surgery
Chair, Department of Surgery
Vice President, Interventional Services
Vice Dean, Academic Affairs

Sterile Processing - Change to Organizational Structure

To better align the services that support period and procedural areas, vice presidential oversight for the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) — formerly known as Central Processing — has transitioned to Bryan Croft, vice president of Service Line Operations. Director leadership of SPD has moved to Jan Decker, service line director, and Shab Nicks, health system director. Decker and Nicks will continue to be responsible for clinical and administrative oversight of all perioperative and GI services.

Additionally, Glen Eleby, CRCST, has been appointed manager for SPD. Over the course of his career and 20 years of sterile processing management experience, Eleby has held a variety of leadership roles. Most recently, he was the regional sterile processing manager at Kaiser Permanente's Moanalua Medical Center in Honolulu, where he was responsible for sterile processing training throughout the region as well as all GI endoscope reprocessing.

Prior to that, Eleby was a sterile processing manager at Hoag Memorial Presbyterian Hospital in Newport Beach and for four years was a senior site manager for SterilTek Inc., a subsidiary of STERIS Corp. that specialized in process improvement and management consulting. His assignments included support to Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles as well as Cedars-Sinai.

As the new manager in SPD, Eleby will work closely with the current interim assistant manager, Latif Loveless, who has been a key player in the groundwork related to improved efficiencies in SPD. Over the next few months, Eleby and Loveless will work to establish a plan to address the operational needs of SPD. Progress will be communicated through the Department of Surgery's Performance Improvement Committee.

Two Minutes With …

This question-and-answer feature will help you get to know some of the physicians in the Cedars-Sinai Department of Surgery.

Chan JoshuaJoshua Chan, MD, Department of Surgery resident

Why did you decide to specialize in surgery?

Surgery is a passionate yet elegant field defined by cerebral decisions made in an immediate fashion.

What is the most rewarding aspect about your job?

Being able to provide definitive and transformative treatment to patients of all walks of life.

What is the funniest thing a patient has ever said to you?

"How old are you really?"

What did your parent(s) always tell you that you now have to admit was correct?

You can never go wrong with treating others the way you would want to be treated.


Kim IreneIrene Kim, MD, Department of Surgery faculty member

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Bowling Green, Ohio, a small farm town in northwest Ohio (I could see four barns from my bedroom window) that is home of the National Tractor Pull and also home to Bowling Green State University, where my parents were professors.

Why did you decide to specialize in general/transplant surgery?

I've been fortunate enough in my life to be constantly inspired by great physicians around me. For general surgery, it was Jade Hiromoto, MD, who was a PGY-4 resident at UCSF, where I went to medical school and who is now a vascular surgeon. She commanded the deepest respect in the entire hospital, not only because she was a gifted surgeon, but she worked tirelessly without complaint. And she rode a motorcycle, which I guess I'm not as much into now that I'm a transplant surgeon, but at the time raised her to the level of an action hero. For transplantation, it was because of Rick Rohrer, MD, and Rich Freeman, MD, who were the transplant surgeons at New England Medical Center, where I did my residency. Same theme — gifted surgeons, humble, hard workers. They brought people back from the brink of death with liver transplantation, and I thought, "What can be cooler than that?"

How would your best friend describe you to someone who doesn't know you?

Hopefully, that I'm a true friend. And a mean dancer.

If you could spend the day doing one thing, what would it be?

A liver transplant. Or spending time with my baby, Sylvie.

What's at the top of your bucket list?

Hiking the mountains of Bhutan.

Topics Sought for Morgenstern Debate

Morgenstern Leon 140px

Leon Morgenstern, MD, was the founding director of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai. He died in 2012.

The 13th annual Dr. Leon Morgenstern Great Debates in Clinical Medicine Resident Competition will convene on Friday, June 3. The debate committee is soliciting topics.

The chosen topic must cut across all specialties and must be of timely import to the Cedars community.

Please send your suggestions to Leo Gordon, MD, Morgenstern Debate coordinator, at leo.gordon@cshs.org.

Last year's debate is available for viewing. Contact Gordon for access.

Course Covers Radiation Safety During Fluoroscopy

Cedars-Sinai physicians can attend a new class on radiation safety during fluoroscopy. The first session of the class, developed in response to a change in state law, will take place Monday, Feb. 29, at 7:30 a.m. in Harvey Morse Auditorium.

Continuing medical education credit will be given for the four-session class, "Radiation Safety in Digital Fluoroscopy." Specifics about the other three sessions will be available soon.

State law now says that anyone who holds a fluoroscopy supervisor and operator permit must receive four hours of education specific to radiation safety during fluoroscopy.

The objectives of the training program are to:

  • Describe the essential components and safe operation of fluoroscopic equipment
  • Recognize the proper techniques of safe fluoroscopic equipment use for patients and staff in all clinical scenarios
  • Apply patient safety recommendations during extended fluoroscopic procedures to avoid potential skin burns
  • Discuss radiation biology and physics and the implications for the clinical use of fluoroscopy

Presenters at the first session will be Donna L. Earley, director of Environmental Health and Safety, and Jimmy Zhou, PhD, a medical physicist.

The course will be offered multiple times throughout the year.

More information on the state requirement is available from the California Department of Public Health.

For more information about the Cedars-Sinai class, call 310-423-4336.

Radiation Safety in Digital Fluoroscopy (PDF)  

'We Were Dry When We Closed'

Ubi Coivimus 480px

Several people responded to last month's question about the sign in Latin above the doorway to OR7. The sign reads "Ubi coivimus eramus sicci."

Here's what readers of Sutures thought the sign meant:

Grace Tebow, RN

"Where we have come together, we were in good health."

However, Tebow pointed out, "sicci" translates in some places as "sober." She wondered: "Isn't there a better translation?"

Jian Tajbakhsh, PhD, assistant professor of Surgery

"Where we come together there will be healing."

"Such a sign above the entrance of an operating room should encourage the teamwork of surgeons and assistants to be optimistic about their actual treatment," Tajbakhsh wrote. "Meaning that an improvement in patient health is goal of their teamwork."

Daniel R. Margulies, MD, professor of Surgery, section chief of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Intensive Care

"It was dry when we closed."

Margulies came nearest to the translation that attending physician Leo Gordon, MD, former associate director of Surgical Education, was thinking of when he had the sign erected 20 years ago. Gordon's translation is "We were dry when we closed." In his popular book Cut to the Chase: 100 Matrix Pearls for Doctors, Gordon referred to the phrase as "a standing semantic joke among surgeons" that is best avoided.

The phrase, Gordon wrote, "usually precedes a litany of self-rebuke, most often following a re-exploration for bleeding, usually in the wee hours of the morning."

Cedars-Sinai Hosts CIRM-Israel Pact Signing

CIRM_480px

Jonathan Thomas, PhD, JD, chair of the Governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, (left) and Ofir Akunis, Israel's Minister of Science, Technology and Space, signed a cooperation agreement at Cedars-Sinai.

Cedars-Sinai on Feb. 8 hosted the signing of a major agreement to advance U.S-Israeli collaboration on stem cell research. The pact, between the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and Israel's Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, provides a new framework to foster global partnerships and joint funding opportunities in regenerative medicine.

Shlomo Melmed

Shlomo Melmed, MD, executive vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the medical faculty, delivered welcoming remarks.

The CIRM, created by a 2004 statewide voter initiative, has provided millions of dollars to Cedars-Sinai and other institutions to develop new therapies for deadly diseases and disorders using stem-cell technologies.

"This agreement will deepen the partnership between Israel and California, bringing together our most talented scientists to push the boundaries of stem cell research," said Ofir Akunis, Israel’s Minister of Science, Technology and Space, who signed the agreement for Israel. Jonathan Thomas, PhD, JD, chair of the CIRM Governing Board, signed on behalf of his agency. Key Cedars-Sinai leaders witnessed the ceremony.

In welcoming remarks, Shlomo Melmed, MD, executive vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the medical faculty, said, "Cedars-Sinai has made a significant commitment to stem cell research, with very productive results." He said the experimental technology has proven effective in several areas of promise, including regenerating tissue in bone fractures and reversing heart attack damage.

Referring to the new agreement, Melmed, a CIRM board member, said, "This partnership will prove fruitful and be of great benefit to all of California stem cell science, as well as to our patients here at Cedars-Sinai."

Circle of Friends Honorees for January

The Circle of Friends program honored 165 people in January.

Circle of Friends allows grateful patients to make a donation in honor of the physicians, nurses, caregivers and others who have made a difference during their time at Cedars-Sinai. When a gift is made, the person being honored receives a custom lapel pin and a letter of acknowledgement.

Click here for more information about the program and for a list of past honorees.

  • Kaelian L. Aldrich
  • Paula J. Anastasia Davis, RN, MN, AOCN
  • Ronald M. Andiman, MD
  • C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD
  • Peiman Berdjis, MD
  • Catherine E. Boyer, RN
  • Earl W. Brien, MD
  • Matthew H. Bui, MD, PhD
  • Christiane Michele J. Burnison, MD
  • Michael A. Bush, MD
  • Amy Callister
  • Ilana Cass, MD
  • Michael L. Chaikin, MD
  • David H. Chang, MD
  • Ray M. Chu, MD
  • Susan B. Clark, RN
  • Donald S. Cohen, MD
  • Susan L. Colar
  • Martin Cooper, MD
  • Stephen R. Corday, MD
  • Robert M. Davidson, MD
  • Todd Davis
  • Robert W. Decker, MD
  • Maria L. Delioukina, MD
  • Ryan DellaMaggiora, MD
  • Gabriela Dellapiana, MD
  • Donna L. Dooley Aiello, RN
  • Noam Z. Drazin, MD
  • J. Kevin Drury, MD
  • Reshma D. Dutt
  • Elitzafan Ebrahim Doost, RN
  • Karyn Eilber, MD
  • Noliza V. Escarza
  • Shervin Eshaghian, MD
  • Richard Essner, MD
  • Azita Far, MD
  • Tatianna M. Farmer
  • Joel D. Feinstein, MD
  • Randy Feldman, MD
  • Robert A. Figlin, MD
  • Christopher R. Fitzgerald, MD
  • Phillip R. Fleshner, MD
  • Charles A. Forscher, MD
  • Cristine C. Foxen, RN
  • Gerhard J. Fuchs, MD
  • Armando E. Giuliano, MD
  • Richard N. Gold, MD
  • Sherry L. Goldman, RN, NP
  • Mark O. Goodarzi, MD
  • Martin N. Gordon, MD
  • Steven B. Graff-Radford, DDS
  • Abe Green, MD
  • Adam B. Grey, MSN, RN
  • Robert A. Gross, MD
  • Erroll L. Hackner, MD
  • Omid Hamid, MD
  • Michele A. Hamilton, MD
  • Joan Hart
  • Mary Lou Horton, RN
  • Jethro L. Hu, MD
  • Gabriel E. Hunt Jr., MD
  • Laith H. Jamil, MD
  • Stanley C. Jordan, MD
  • David Y. Josephson, MD
  • Danielle M. Kahanowitch
  • Saibal Kar, MD
  • Sousan Karimi, MD
  • Beth Y. Karlan, MD
  • Scott R. Karlan, MD
  • David Kawashiri, MD
  • Ilan Kedan, MD, MPH
  • Abby E. Kistler, BSN, RN
  • Michelle M. Kittleson, MD, PhD
  • Keith L. Klein, MD
  • Jon A. Kobashigawa, MD
  • Lowell R. Korman, MD
  • Pamela D. Lazor
  • Caroline Lee, MD
  • Madeline S. Lerman, BSN, RN
  • Keren Lerner, MD
  • Ronald S. Leuchter, MD
  • Donald G. Leve
  • Andrew J. Li, MD
  • Aliza A. Lifshitz, MD
  • Michael C. Lill, MD
  • Yuliya Linhares, MD
  • Simon K. Lo, MD
  • Sergey Lyass, MD
  • Cleofe "Betsy" G. Macalino
  • Rajendra Makkar, MD
  • Eve Louise Makoff, MD
  • Adam N. Mamelak, MD
  • Lisa Masson, MD
  • Katherine Medina
  • Sharron L. Mee, MD
  • Rita Mendoza
  • Alain Mita, MD
  • Monica M. Mita, MD, MDSc
  • Beth A. Moore, MD
  • Esther Morrison, RN
  • Zuri Murrell, MD
  • Mamoo Nakamura, MD
  • Ashkan L. Naraghi, MD
  • Ronald B. Natale, MD
  • Norman J. Nemoy, MD
  • Nicholas N. Nissen, MD
  • Michael A. Norwood
  • Raena S. Olsen, DO
  • Gbenga "Ben" Owolabi
  • Shi-Hui Pan, PharmD
  • Chirag G. Patil, MD
  • Tyler Pierson, MD
  • Terry E. Podell, MD
  • Kimberly A. Porter
  • Edwin M. Posadas, MD
  • Dechu P. Puliyanda, MD
  • Alejandra Quinonez, RN
  • Shervin Rabizadeh, MD
  • Soroush A. Ramin, MD
  • Jeffrey Rapp, MD
  • Shahram F. Ravan, MD
  • Catherine Riassetto
  • Madison F. Richardson, MD
  • Bobbie J. Rimel, MD
  • Robert M. Rose, MD
  • Sonja Louisa Rosen, MD
  • Barry E. Rosenbloom, MD
  • Fred P. Rosenfelt, MD
  • Regina Rozenblat, RN
  • Stephen A. Sacks, MD
  • Gregory P. Sarna, MD
  • Wouter I. Schievink, MD
  • Scott Serden, MD
  • Prediman K. Shah, MD
  • Edward J. Share, MD
  • Michael M. Shehata, MD
  • Robert J. Siegel, MD
  • Allan W. Silberman, MD, PhD
  • Alan G. Silverman, MD
  • Americo Simonini, MD
  • Richard Sokolov, MD
  • Karyn Morse Solky, MD
  • Jerrold H. Steiner, MD
  • Daniel J. Stone, MD, MPH, MBA
  • Leslie Stricke, MD
  • Ronald Sue, MD
  • Michelle M. Sullivan, RN
  • Vinay Sundaram, MD
  • Steven W. Tabak, MD
  • Siamak Tabib, MD
  • Cheryl A. Taylor
  • Hadley P. Thompson, RN
  • Alfredo Trento, MD
  • Mark K. Urman, MD
  • Robert A. Vescio, MD
  • Gregoria Vicente
  • Andrew S. Wachtel, MD
  • Jonathan M. Weiner, MD
  • Nicole Williams, RN
  • Joanna L. Wilson, RN-BC, OCN
  • Edward M. Wolin, MD
  • Paige Woodward, NP
  • Graham M. Woolf, MD
  • Sina Yang
  • Christopher Zarembinski, MD