Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter, is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, and lecturer. He attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurological residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 26 years, practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional research. Dr. Blaylock has authored four books, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, and his most recent work, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Find out what others are saying about Dr. Blaylock by clicking here.
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Dangers of 'Team Medicine'

Thursday, 02 Feb 2012 08:41 AM

One of the major weaknesses of modern medicine is that we have all but forgotten how the different parts of the body work together, mainly because we are so busy examining specific organs, isolated tissues, and cells. This is not all bad, but we need our great minds to put all this information together so that we can see how disruptions in one part of the body affect the health of the entire person — not just their liver or heart, for instance.
It may be hard to appreciate, but it wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t have medical specialists and subspecialists such as cardiologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons and diabetes specialists. When I practiced neurosurgery, I was acutely aware that many of the specialists knew little or nothing outside their specialty. (And there are some diseases that frustrate many doctors. To learn more, read my newsletter newsletter ""Mystery Diseases That Baffle Your Doctor.")


When I was a resident, I did my own tracheostomies and inserted chest tubes in my own patients. These lifesaving techniques now are performed only by specialists in each field. And even within specialties, such as orthopedics, one sees subspecialization. We have orthopedic specialists in knee surgery and specialists in back surgery, etc.
One of my pet peeves was the “team treatment” approach to medicine, which I saw as a double-edged sword that could be especially dangerous. Because no one knew about areas outside their field of expertise, they depended on an array of doctors to gather around each patient.
As a neurosurgeon I would have cardiologists and infectious disease physicians writing orders for my patient. Often these orders were dangerous when used with certain neurosurgical conditions. For example, a doctor might order an IV containing dextrose and water in a head injury patient, which would cause the brain to swell and possibly kill the patient. (Get more advice for staying healthy while hospitalized by reading my special report "Survive Your Hospital Visit.")


I always acted as the captain of the ship and no one wrote orders without my permission. This is not the standard in most cases. I have seen many catastrophes as a result of this team treatment.
For more of Dr. Blaylock’s weekly tips, go here to view the archive

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