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At 39, Dr. Paul Tonkin is still young in his medical career. But the Essentia Health urologist already is amazed by the advances in his specialty. "I never thought I'd see it," he said of the way robotic surgery is being used in prostate surgery. "The accuracy is really incredible."
When it was suggested to Dale Pagenkopf that he participate in a clinical trial for treatment of his prostate cancer, he didn't hesitate. "I wanted it immediately," the Duluth man said last week. "The initial prognosis wasn't too hot. So, when Dr. (Daniel) Nikcevich mentioned a clinical trial, I was thinking: Start the experiment." It was 2008, and Pagenkopf, then 58, had been informed that a biopsy of his prostate had revealed a Gleason grade of 10 — a number indicating the most aggressive form of the cancer.
Puzzled by health insurance? Millennials are more likely to be baffled by the intricacies of health insurance than their elders, according to poll results released last week. The poll, released by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, found that about three out of four Minnesotans think managing their health insurance is important, but not all of us are confident we understand it.
The wrong surgical or invasive procedure was performed. Another procedure was performed on the wrong body part. A biological specimen was mishandled and couldn't be replaced. All of those mishaps occurred in Northland hospitals during a 12-month period in 2015-16, according to an annual report released today by the Minnesota Department of Health.
As Cheryl Deloach saw it, Hank Bos wasn't just the guy who sold sweet corn and cucumbers by the side of the road near Duluth's Lake Superior Zoo. He was a father figure. "From the moment I met him, he made me feel like we'd been friends for all our lives," the Proctor woman said. "He reminded me a lot of my dad, who I lost not long before I met Hank, so meeting him was a blessing."
To hear Susan Choi tell it, the "immersion workshop" she plans for Duluth on Feb. 28 is all about doing good for the community. "It's simple," Choi said in a telephone conversation from her home base in Berlin, Germany. "I just want people's voices to be heard." But in Pat McKone's view, the real purpose behind the event is nefarious: a marketing push by Big Tobacco.
Dawn Drotar was about 7, growing up in the tiny town of Stockholm, Sask., when she had a memorable chat with her dad. "We were sitting down talking, and he was telling me how impressed he was with female physicians, and how much he respected female physicians," recalled Dr. Drotar, now 47 and a hospitalist at Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center. "I think that got inside my head from that time," she said recently. "I wanted to make my dad proud."
They didn't bring it up, but the female physicians interviewed for these stories were well aware of a study published in December about the success of women vs. male doctors. The study found that elderly hospitalized patients treated by female doctors are less likely to die within 30 days of admission than if they're treated by male doctors, according to a summary from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, whose researchers led the project.
Immigrations and medicine First-generation immigrants fill a greater share of key medical positions in the United States than they do in the population as a whole. That's the finding of a study from the George Mason University Institute for Immigration Research.
Matthew Sanford was 25 minutes into his presentation when he invited those in his audience to take off their shoes. "And if you have real courage, take off your socks," he said. The 51-year-old Duluth native, a pioneer in adaptive yoga who has been paralyzed from the chest down since an automobile accident when he was 13, was speaking to well over a hundred people at lunchtime on Thursday in the University of Minnesota Duluth's Kirby Ballroom.