Surgeon Bashes CRNAs in Vogue Magazine

  1. I picked this up from another CRNA discussion board and have not read the article myself, but this appeared in the June 2004 Vogue magazine. It has stirred a lot of attention from CRNAs (As it should have!) and as far as I know it will be addressed by the AANA...or at least I hope so!

    The article in the June 2004 issue of Vogue contains an article entitled 'Shopping for Surgey'. Santa Monica surgeon R. Patrick Abergel states " It's not illegal for surgeons to administer anesthesia themselves, and a lot do - or they work with Nurse Anesthetists. Both are unsafe, says Abergel. Prior to surgery, a patient should discuss their medical history as well as the type of anesthesia with the anesthesiologist..."

    This may not be a medical journal, but it is a nationally read magazine. This kind of ignorant statement undermines a lot of the hard work that has been done to promote the truth that CRNAs are safe anesthesia providers. The general public reads this garbage and can potentially form an opinion based on a factless, biased statement by some surgeon. Although not credible in my eyes, these kinds of statements can do a lot of damage to the reputation of CRNAs. We have a lot of work to do!
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   tcrn
    Thats pretty darn ignorant for that surgeon to make that statement and for it to be published! I would think that a large magazine would have savvey lawyers who would be like, "hey, this is a slanderous comment" or at least tone the statement down. I think it is imperitive that people contact this magazine regarding these unfair comments. Perhaps they could be invited to find out the real facts. Or perhaps we as a large body of individuals could actively boycott this magazine.
    Quote from TraumaNurse
    I picked this up from another CRNA discussion board and have not read the article myself, but this appeared in the June 2004 Vogue magazine. It has stirred a lot of attention from CRNAs (As it should have!) and as far as I know it will be addressed by the AANA...or at least I hope so!

    The article in the June 2004 issue of Vogue contains an article entitled 'Shopping for Surgey'. Santa Monica surgeon R. Patrick Abergel states " It's not illegal for surgeons to administer anesthesia themselves, and a lot do - or they work with Nurse Anesthetists. Both are unsafe, says Abergel. Prior to surgery, a patient should discuss their medical history as well as the type of anesthesia with the anesthesiologist..."

    This may not be a medical journal, but it is a nationally read magazine. This kind of ignorant statement undermines a lot of the hard work that has been done to promote the truth that CRNAs are safe anesthesia providers. The general public reads this garbage and can potentially form an opinion based on a factless, biased statement by some surgeon. Although not credible in my eyes, these kinds of statements can do a lot of damage to the reputation of CRNAs. We have a lot of work to do!
  4. by   Sheri257
    Quote from tcrn
    Thats pretty darn ignorant for that surgeon to make that statement and for it to be published! I would think that a large magazine would have savvey lawyers who would be like, "hey, this is a slanderous comment" or at least tone the statement down.
    Vogue isn't a newsmagazine, it's a fashion magazine. Therefore, they probably don't get many lawsuit threats and, consequently, probably don't have libel lawyers on staff.

    Remember that the media doesn't always quote people accurately either. It wouldn't surprize me if they quoted this guy out of context. I'm not saying that's what happened in this case, but it does happen a lot. I seen it first hand, many times.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 31, '04
  5. by   carcha
    I can tell you now, that NO surgeon is going to give me an anaesthetic!. I'd sooner bang my head off the floor until I pass out!
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Can anyone provide a link? I tried Vogue online but found no article.

    Thanks.

    steph
  7. by   ROBDANURSE
    Santa Monica? Surgeons who give their own anesthesia? Sounds like a poorly run drive-thru face lift clinic to me. Hopefully the AANA will contact Vogue for a proper reply.
  8. by   Altra
    I read the article yesterday, and the line about CRNAs being "unsafe" immediately jumped off the page at me.

    Vogue does not post articles at its online site, so I can't provide a link. But the focus of the article is re-thinking the safety of elective cosmetic surgery after two deaths at Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital. (considering the risks of surgery? what a concept! who knew?! )

    Two excerpts:

    "... Though suspected as the culprit in many complications, anesthesia is "actually very safe," says Abergel (***Santa Monica surgeon R. Patrick Abergel, MD***) "The new drugs are shorter-action, so you're not under as long." Just as you would investiage your doctor, you should also inquire about the anesthesiologist. "It's not illegal for surgeons to administer anesthesia themselves, and a lot do -- or they work with nurse anesthetists. Both are unsafe," says Abergel. Prior to surgery, a patient should comprehensively discuss her medical history, as well as the type of anesthesia to be administered with the anesthesiologist: will she be intubated and asleep under general anesthesia or conscious under local anesthesia? Doctors caution against anything but these two options.

    .....

    "Although Olivia Goldsmith's death is still under investigation, it is rumored that she was taking both mood stabilizers and homeopathic supplements, either of which could have had adverse reactions with anesthesia, causing oxygen deprivation, which may have contributed to her death. "
  9. by   Athlein1
    That excerpt sure doesn't sound like he was quoted out of context to me. And, for what it's worth, the AANA executive board is aware of the article and is likely making sound decisions about how best to handle it. Abergel's website is a piece of work. This is a man that is very proud of his inclusion in mainstream media!
  10. by   jaimealmostRN
    I meant to post about this. I am a regular reader of Vogue and as it was an article on how to make Cosmetic surgery more successful/safer I was interested. It was a private practice dr. who said something like, "it isn't illegal for a surgeon to provide his/her own anesthesia and some use CRNAs. Neither option is safe." That isn't a direct quote but it is basically what the guy said. If anyone is intersted in buying the magazine it's the one with Kate Hudson on the cover. Yuck, Yuck, Yuck :angryfire ....the people who read magazines such as Vogue, Glamour, Marie Claire tend to be more in favor of of elective surgeries esp. minimally invasive things like botox (I'm generalizing b/c each month there is usually another article on plastic surgery or even an entire regular section (as in Allure) devoted to the topic). This loser just reached a lot of possible patients with his opinion (that as far as I know isn't based on any scientific research). Let the angry letter writing campain begin!!! I'll be looking forward to the next issue of Vogue.
  11. by   alansmith52
    if somone would please post the address of where to write ill put a copy of the article at my school along with the adress so that 100 of us can write him.
  12. by   Sheri257
    Here's Abergel's website:

    http://www.doctorabergel.com/index2.html

  13. by   Altra
    Letters to the editors of Vogue:

    send email to Talkingback@vogue.com

    or snail mail to: Letters
    Vogue Magazine
    4 Times Square
    New York, NY 10036


    Include a daytime phone #.
  14. by   imenid37
    All I can say is if that horse's a$$ ever needs surgery in a rural hospital, they can just tell him to stay awake. Although we have a mix of Anesthesia docs and CRNA's some places have very few anesthesia docs or only CRNA's. I am not a CRNA, so I'd like to know do you guys get hostile responses from docs on a regular basis in your daily practice? The anesthesiologists where I work have mostly very good things to say about the CRNA's at the hospital. I recently had a mom in labour who's hubby was a nursing student and was aspiring to be a CRNA one day. The anesthesia doc (who is usually a grumpy old cuss) came to place an epidural in the patient. He explained the whole procedure to this man and went onto to say what a good career being a CRNA is. I wish we worked w/ CRNA's in our ob unit because they seem to take a bit more time to explain things to the pt. and us too. My friend had a CRNA for her epidural at a hospital in Baltimore and he was super! What a shame some jerk has to bash another group of professionals to puff his own ego.

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