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Research snapshot: Evidence based medicine applications can be applied to well-established interventions

In science and medicine, doctors utilize many kinds of evidence when making health care decisions. Known within the medical community as evidence based medicine (EBM), one of the primary goals is to improve overall decisions by the individual physicians and care team. In a previous study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers argued that some things are so obvious that they do not require ongoing research and even ridiculed the practice of evidence-based medicine.

The example they provided was not needing to judge the effectiveness of a parachute when jumping out of an airplane.

And while that may seem logical because everyone “knows” a parachute helps to improve your chances of survival when jumping from an airplane, EBM can more accurately prove this to be true.

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Mandated decrease in work hours may not be advantageous for neurosurgical residents

In an effort to decrease the amount of medical errors due to fatigue, in 2003 the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) imposed a mandatory maximum 80-hour work-week restriction on medical residents.

Before this mandate, residents often worked more than 100 hours per week and some neurosurgery residents in particular worked in excess of 120 hours per week. A University of Minnesota study recently  published in the Journal of Neurosurgery now finds the mandate could be leaving neurosurgery residents underprepared.

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U of M study: Reduction in neurosurgical resident hours appears to have no significant positive effect on patient outcomes

A reduction in neurosurgeon resident duty hours appears to result in no significant changes in patient outcomes, according to new research from the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota. The reduction in resident duty hours was mandated in 2003 by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) when it imposed a mandatory maximum 80-hour work-week restriction on medical residents. Prior to this mandate, residents often worked in excess of 100 hours per week.

Findings were published today in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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U of M expert: Know the signs and symptoms of stroke, what to do

When precious seconds count, do you know the signs and symptoms of stroke? Moreover, do you know what to do to get the stroke sufferer the medical care they need?

The American Stroke Association has an easy-to-remember acronym, F.A.S.T., which stands for:

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A Retrospective: 75 Years of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota

Since 1937, neurosurgery has been an integral part of the University of Minnesota. In that year, William Peyton, M.D., was appointed head of the division, launching a line of effective and accomplished leaders that would carry the division forward.

Over the span of 75 years, the Department of Neurosurgery was established within the Medical School and continued to make a name for itself as an incubator for innovation and the most advanced patient care options available.

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Trigeminal neuralgia surgery gives patients their lives back

Try to imagine a pain so excruciating that some patients have even told physicians they’d contemplated ending their life to alleviate the suffering. Sadly, this is the type of pain characteristic of trigeminal neuralgia (TN).

Known as the suicide disease, TN is a painful disorder that affects the trigeminal nerve, the nerve primarily responsible for sensations felt in the face.

Patients battling TN experience occasional, sporadic or constant pain in the face that makes everyday tasks like talking, smiling, shaving, eating, and brushing your teeth unbearable. In some cases, even a light breeze against the face can result in terrible pain.

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