BackTable / ENT / Podcast / Episode #130
Surgical Ergonomics: The Unseen Risk to Surgeon Wellbeing
with Dr. Geeta Lal
In this episode of BackTable ENT, Drs. Julie Wei and Geeta Lal, a surgical oncologist at the University of Iowa and current president of the Society of Surgical Ergonomics, discuss the importance of ergonomics in surgery.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2023, September 19). Ep. 130 – Surgical Ergonomics: The Unseen Risk to Surgeon Wellbeing [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Geeta Lal
Dr. Geeta Lal is a general surgeon with advanced fellowship training in endocrine surgical oncology.
Dr. Julie Wei
Dr. Julie Wei is a pediatric ENT surgeon, professor, clinical researcher, author, and speaker.
First, Julie and Geeta share their stories that have shaped their perspectives on the importance of ergonomics. Geeta details her journey of getting involved in the ergonomics industry dating back to 2016 after having persistent jaw pain. After consulting multiple physicians who offered her narcotics as a solution to her myofascial pain, Geena was inspired to start educating physicians about ergonomics. Geeta and Julie disclosed that from a survey from physicians, 80% of surgeons are in pain.
Geeta then discusses her daily routine for incorporating ergonomics during surgeries. She explains the importance of postural awareness in areas such as table height, laparoscopic machinery, and cameras in order to prevent excessive head and back strain. Furthermore, Geeta defines an “ergonomic timeout”, which are distinct moments to confirm that equipment is in the optimal position, thus mitigating potential risk of injury. Furthermore, Geeta and Julie note which surgical specialities are far worse in surgical ergonomics. Geeta also shares how she obtained her current role of president of the Society of Surgical Ergonomics.
Finally, Geeta and Julie discuss misconceptions in the area of surgical ergonomics and barriers that are present amongst the surgery community when discussing physician pain.
Society of Surgical Ergonomics:
Dr. Geeta Lal’s Website:
Dr. Julie Wei’s Article on Surgical Ergonomics in Physician Wellbeing:
Disclaimer: The Materials available on BackTable.com are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.