Evidence-Based Life Hacks for Surgeons
The SUS Presidential Session of 2023 was titled “Evidence-Based Life Hacks for Surgeons,” and it featured a panel of renowned experts from diverse backgrounds who are thought leaders in sleep deprivation, nutrition, and academic surgery. The session aimed to share their research and personal experiences on how to best integrate a healthy personal life into academic surgery.
Dr. Christopher Landrigan, Director of Sleep and Patient Safety Program at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, delivered an informative presentation titled “How to Minimize the Effects of Sleep Deprivation.” He provided clear evidence demonstrating the correlation between healthcare provider sleep deprivation and adverse patient outcomes. His strategies to mitigate these negative effects of sleep deprivation included sleeping whenever possible, taking naps before night shifts, and small frequent doses of caffeine when needed.
Dr. Maryam Makowski, Associate Director of Scholarship and Health Promotion at Stanford University, shared her PhD Doctorate expertise in nutritional epidemiology. She presented a lecture titled “How to Maximize Performance Through Nutrition” and highlighted that up to 40% of healthcare providers are dehydrated at the end of their shifts. Malnutrition and dehydration may lead to poor mood/health, which can negatively impact patient care. She recommended that healthcare providers keep healthy snacks handy, stay hydrated, and have a well-balanced meal to improve their performance.
Dr. Erika Rangel, a renowned academic surgeon from the Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, shared her personal experiences as a mother and a successful surgeon. She delivered a presentation titled “How to Balance Family and Work Responsibilities” and emphasized the importance of choosing the right partner in life and work who can provide the environment necessary for success. Additionally, she stressed that work does not always have to come first and that addressing family priorities that are important to you is often the most critical task at hand. Finally, she recommended outsourcing help for household responsibilities whenever possible to provide more flexibility in time management.
Overall, the Presidential Session was enlightening and provided evidence-based life hacks that can improve the well-being of academic surgeons while also enhancing patient outcomes.