February 06, 2019
Overheard at GMM HQ
"This is like Vogue but for medtech nerds like us." Ronda Fallon, on keeping up with the annual surgical trends in the Hot Topics in Surgery 2019 roundup.
WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS BUZZING ABOUT
I'M FINE, DOCTOR, BUT HOW ARE YOU?
In a recent report on Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide, 44 percent of surveyed physicians reported feeling burned out and an additional 11 percent checked the depressed box. And we've just been sitting there telling them about our problems all this time.
DEATH BY PAPERWORK?
The most common culprit by a longshot was identified as "too many bureaucratic tasks" like charting and paperwork. One family doc went so far as to say that "All that paperwork sucks the joy out of being a doctor." She was asked to submit this response via both email and notarized hard copy delivered via carrier pigeon.
It ain't easy being a gangster doctor (especially a urologist—the most burned out specialty).
WOULD YOU RATHER: COLONOSCOPY VS. NEEDLE EDITION
Although colonoscopy has long been the gold standard in colon cancer detection, the 125 million Americans who are advised to have the routine screening may now have an alternative in the form of a blood test. This bodes well for the 50 million candidates who have so far said "no thanks" to having a tube shoved up their behind, thus reducing their chances of early detection.
TELL ME MORE (ABOUT THE BLOOD TEST NOT THE TUBE SHOVING PLS.)
CellMax Life has developed a patented platform called CMx that captures precancerous and cancer cells that are shed into the blood by tumors, and in a few months will be collaborating with Medigen Biotech in a clinical trial of patients with early stage colorectal cancer.
Although for now colonoscopy remains the only medically recommended option in this game of Would You Rather, a less-invasive option on the horizon poses a huge opportunity for increasing early detection.
UPDATED ODDS IN THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM
For the first time in history, Americans now have a higher probability of dying by opioid overdose (1 in 96) than by car crash (1 in 103). We sent an entire search and rescue team to find a silver lining for this story but they all came back empty-handed. Womp womp.
WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?
The opioid epidemic seems to be raging out of control, the treatment for which is some combo of increasing pain management training for opioid prescribers, making the potentially life saving drug naloxone more widely available, and expanding access to addiction treatment. Also, wear your seatbelt and don't text and drive.
Although the manager of statistics at the National Safety Council quipped that everyone's "odds of dying are 1 in 1," we're not doing a great job at preventing that inevitable milestone for opioid users. Also, we bet that guy is a real hoot at parties.
GOOD TO KNOW
Why settle for feeling young at heart when you can pay $8000 to be young in blood? A new startup will pump you full of 1.5L of plasma donated by a 16-25 year old, despite lacking any scientific research that any benefit exists. Let us know if it works, though.