The Mental Game: Preparing for Brain Surgery

Question: How do you prepare yourself to perform a brain surgery?

 

Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa: The way you prepare to go into the operating room is an absolute concentration, an absolute love for what you do, and you have to have that passion in your heart, you have to feel that fire in your belly, right before you go into the operating room. Why? Because you are literally walking a fine line every day in what we do between life and death. And even though we're walking that fine line every day, you can never be too prepared. So what I do all the time before I go into the operating room, nights before, days before, every time I meet a patient, I think about their disease.

Their case gets put in my brain. I think about it, I dream about it. I conceive the different avenues, the different corridors, the different ways that I'm going to treat this disease, how I'm going to approach it, which angle I'm going to take, how the tumor is going to look. And I dream about this and I think about this in such a way that when I come into the operating room, my heart is palpitating. I have all this amount of energy and passion and concentration. All my senses are hyper-acute. This is this patient's most important day in their life, and as a consequence it's my most important day in my life, and I come in to work with them, side by side, man to a man, as I said before. And I concentrate and I put all my efforts, all my passion, my determination, my resilience-- my dreams come together that moment.

 

Recorded on: July 2, 2008

 

When you walk the fine line between life and death, you can never prepare too much, says Dr. Q. He'll even plan his strategies for a brain surgery in his sleep.

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less