Paging Dr. Violin?

Free Jan. 24 concert will bring out the musical talents of U-M medical and science community

devare violin 2 blog

Dr. Jenna Devare, an ear, nose & throat surgeon in training, “scopes” her violin

If you could see Dr. Ellen Janke or Dr. Jenna Devare in action in a U-M operating room, you’d probably notice how confidently they handle the complex equipment of 21st Century surgery.

You’d see how every operation is a team effort, with surgeons, anesthesiologists, residents, nurses and technicians each playing their part to help every patient.

But if you come to Hill Auditorium this Sunday afternoon, you can see Dr. Janke and Dr. Devare engaged in another kind of teamwork: the kind it takes to play in a 70-member symphony orchestra.


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Guard your heart when shoveling snow

Tips to make shoveling a winter event, not a cardiac event

Shoveling image

When the snow starts piling up, many who pick up their shovels and head for their driveways and walkways are putting themselves at risk for an adverse cardiac event. These include heart attacks, where a blockage cuts off the heart’s blood supply leading to tissue damage, and cardiac arrest, when the heart beats irregularly and then stops. But for those at risk, there are ways to guard your heart when shoveling show.

Who’s at risk?

Men are more at risk than women, but certain people with health problems have higher risk than others for a cardiac event. These include anyone who:

  • is in poor physical condition
  • has a history of heart disease, including heart attacks, heart failure and stroke
  • has hypertension or diabetes

The greatest risk is with people who are still recovering from a heart attack, or who are being treated for heart failure. People in these groups should avoid snow shoveling entirely. Continue reading

Concussions and student athletes: Get the facts from medical researchers


With the recent release of the movie “Concussion”, concussions, particularly in athletes, have become the center of public and media conversations.

Concussions are an important health issue and should certainly be taken seriously. But it’s also important to remember that care from a medical professional with expertise in concussion diagnosis and treatment can generally result in a positive outcome for the patient.

Steps have been taken by schools, medical professionals and legislators around the country to help bring awareness to concussions. Continue reading

Ignition interlocks offer solution for reducing drunk driving














The New Year’s Eve holiday means parties and get-togethers with friends…and more opportunities to drive while intoxicated.

As an emergency physician, I often see patients and families on the worst days of their lives. In April of this past year, I came closer to experiencing what could have been the worst day of my life.

On a Friday afternoon that spring, an individual with two prior drunk driving arrests, no driver’s license and a borrowed vehicle, chose once more to drink and drive. He left the highway at a curve and rumbled straight across over 100 feet of grass without braking, smashing his 6,000 pound pickup truck through the playroom wall of my son’s daycare.

Fortunately, as it was the end of the day and a warm spring afternoon, most of those in the center were either outside or near the exit preparing to go home. Some, however, were only one thin wall away from being crushed by the truck.

Since that crash, I have gone through a range of emotions. I was relieved. I was angry. However, as an emergency physician, I ultimately wanted to seek out a solution.  Continue reading

Don’t get burned this holiday season!

Easy tips from the U-M Trauma Burn Center


The holiday season is upon us which means I’m back on the UofMHealthBlogs to offer some quick and easy fire safety tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe during the holidays!

Let me start by introducing myself. I’m the managing director of the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected centers for treating patients who have suffered from burn injuries. We see an average of 1,400 multiple-trauma and burn patients each year.

Many people don’t know that holiday activities are leading causes of U.S. home fires. That’s right. Activities you do each year at this time could actually be putting your home at risk for a fire.

Christmas trees, holiday cooking, candles burning, decorations and fireplaces can all be hazardous to your home.

But, don’t worry! I’m not saying you can’t participate in all of these wonderful family activities. In fact, most home fires and burn injuries can be prevented just by planning ahead and taking preventive steps. Continue reading

Think before you buy that drone this holiday season


One gift appears to be on every holiday commercial, store flier and wish list this year: drones.

And while it seems like drones could make our world a better, more tech-savvy place, make sure you consider the consequences.

As a member of the University of Michigan Survival Flight team, I know firsthand the danger drones can cause.

Minutes and seconds matter in our line of work.

For example, imagine you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident and need to be air lifted to our hospital. Our team is dispatched to help you, but as we prepare to take off, we see a small drone flying over our helipad. Continue reading