Monthly Archives: November 2013

Surgery, Stents and Sports: “Let’s Go to the Videotape!”

A recent New York Times article delves into a topic not often discussed: the fact that some surgeons are more skilled than others. “A Vital Measure: Your Surgeon’s Skill” by Dr. Pauline W. Chen is a fascinating look at a taboo topic. Dr. Chen describes an innovative program where a group of expert surgeons judges how skilled a particular colleague is by looking at a close-up videotape of how he or she works with their hands, utilizes equipment, and so on. How can you tell if a surgeon is on his game? As famed sports commentator Warner Wolf would say in his catch-phrase, “Let’s Go to the Videotape!”

Video control room

Video control room in an early angioplasty live demonstration course

However, watching procedures on video is nothing new to me, or to any member of the interventional cardiology community. The field of angioplasty started on Day One with live demonstration courses where procedures were performed utilizing live TV broadcasts (see my video at the bottom of this post). I designed and directed many of these early courses and we focused cameras on the operator’s hands, very similar to the videos in Dr. Chen’s article. And just last week at the TCT 2013 Annual Symposium, thousands of cardiologists watched the hands of their colleagues in HD video on a 100 foot screen, being broadcast from Germany, or South Korea, or New York. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Innovators, Media Coverage, Meetings & Conferences, Video