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Surgical skills transcend technical knowledge

When patients in Pennsylvania go into the hospital, they often feel reassured by doctors with a good bedside manner. Those good feelings can be backed up by data, according to experts. Surgery makes use of highly advanced technical skills, but non-technical skills are also an important part of a surgeon's practice. One surgical expert said that in addition to aptitude, ability and ambition, adaptability and humility are important characteristics of a successful surgeon.

Around 45 percent of adverse medical events involve surgery. Of these, 35 to 66 percent take place during the operation itself. Surgical errors can be disastrous, with catastrophic effects for the patient. Therefore, a doctor's ability to recognize a problem or mistake and act to find a solution can be critical to saving a patient's life and health. Cognitive skills are important in surgery because surgeons need to constantly evaluate the current situation in order to determine their next course of action. Training on cognitive skills can help surgeons react to problems and even errors with quick thinking and positive action.

Some companies have worked to develop software solutions that allow surgeons to use a simulator, much like pilots do, in order to attempt different surgical situations before encountering them in a patient. These kinds of practice techniques could help surgeons to react accurately in a wide range of circumstances. They could also help surgeons to stay calm and make good decisions under pressure.

All doctors make mistakes; after all, medicine often relies on human judgment. However, only some physicians behave recklessly toward their patients, failing to address problems and even causing a worsened health condition. Patients who have encountered this type of doctor can consult with a medical malpractice attorney about their options to seek compensation.

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