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Personal Safety of the Plastic Surgeon: Keeping Yourself Healthy While You Work

Nagarkar, Purushottam, M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: July 2018 - Volume 142 - Issue 1 - p 76e-81e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000004474
Patient Safety CME

Learning Objectives: After reading this study, the participant should be able to: 1. Recognize the primary physical and mental risks faced by the practicing plastic surgeon. 2. State the primary risk factors for cervical spine disease and back pain. 3. State the critical steps for protection from ionizing and nonionizing radiation. 4. List the characteristics of a surgeon exhibiting signs of burnout. 5. Develop a plan for mitigating personal risk of musculoskeletal, exposure, and other injuries.

Summary: Health care workers are exposed to significant occupational hazards, and have a risk of injury similar to that of construction, mining, and manufacturing employees. Plastic surgeons must have a clear understanding of the types of risks they face and the techniques for mitigating them. Exposure to some risks is attributable to unavoidable occupational conditions, but others can be avoided completely. The sources of injury risk from musculoskeletal, exposure, and other causes are discussed in this article, and evidence-based recommendations to ameliorate these risks are presented.

Patient Safety CME.

Dallas, Texas

From the Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Received for publication November 1, 2017; accepted February 7, 2018.

Disclosure:The author has no financial interest in any of the products, devices, or drugs mentioned in this manuscript.

By reading this article, you are entitled to claim one (1) hour of Category 2 Patient Safety Credit. ASPS members can claim this credit by logging in to Dashboard, clicking “Submit CME,” and completing the form.

Purushottam Nagarkar, M.D., Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 1801 Inwood Road, 4th Floor, Dallas, Texas 75390,

Copyright © 2018 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons