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Optimal neuro|spine
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Optimal neuro|spine

Author: Maxwell Boakye, MD MPH

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I am Dr. Max Boakye, Neurosurgeon, and Neuroscientist, currently Professor of Neurosurgery, Chief of Spinal Neurosurgery, Director of Quality Improvement, and Clinical Director of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Center. I interview leading neuroscientists, health administrators, neurosurgeons, educators, neuro and spine health care experts, and patients in this show. How do we optimize our brain and spine health, prevent aging brain and memory deterioration? What to do when something goes wrong, how best to heal and recover injured brain and back? How do we optimize our inpatient neuro|spine care in hospitals and provide more value-based care- prevent errors, improve quality, and improve patient satisfaction? How do we teach better and better train doctors? Which hospitals offer the best neuro and spine care: why and how? We present the most innovative emerging research that will impact neuro|spine care. Join us as we delve one on one and have insightful conversations with exciting researchers and experts, voices who have something to teach, enlighten and inspire us about Optimal neuro|spine.
27 Episodes
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There is often a gap between what happens in the laboratory and what happens with patients in clinical practice. Yet both experiences are required to advance patient outcomes. This is why we need more doctors like Robert Starke. Dr. Starke is a clinician scientist at the University of Miami with over 700 operations and just as many academic publications in his young career. Join me as I sit down with Dr. Starke to discuss the secrets to his extraordinary success, the grant writing process, an...
In the quest to optimize spine surgery outcomes, we need better information and better research. This means better clinical trials and more funding. Join me, as I sit down with Dr. Zoher Ghogawala to discuss his thoughts on clinical trial design, developing the evidence for spine surgery, improving patient outcomes, and the results of his most recent research.You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...Getting to know Dr. Ghogawala, his clinical practice, and his research [0...
There are few names as recognizable as Dr. Edward Benzel in the field of spine surgery. He quite literally wrote the book on it. On this episode, I have the distinct privilege of sitting down with Dr. Benzel to discuss a myriad of topics including his experiences in spine surgery and the lessons he’s learned, his evolution as a spine surgeon, safety in spine surgery, and his thoughts on where the field is headed next.You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...Getting to kno...
How do we push the ball forward for the research and treatment of traumatic brain injury and other neurological diseases? To answer that question, my guest Dr. Dalton Dietrich will dive into everything he and his team are doing at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Join us as we discuss his work with inflammasomes, secrets for research success, and the most exciting advances in the field of TBI.You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...Dr. Dietrich discusses his research...
How does greater access to specialized care optimize the treatment of spinal cord injuries? On this episode, Dr. Steven Kirshblum dives into the differences between general and specialized rehabilitation for SCI patients, why specialized care is critical for better patient outcomes, and the challenges of integrating specialized care for spinal cord injuries into the medical system.You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...Advancements and challenges in the treatment of spi...
Has the future of spinal cord injury treatment arrived? On this episode, I sit down with Drs. Gregoire Courtine and Jocelyne Bloch to discuss their recently published and highly publicized paper on restoring motor function after paralysis. They briefly dive into their protocol, their approach to Epi-Stim, and their answer to the magic wand question.You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...A brief overview of the recent paper published by Drs. Courtine and Bloch [2:43]How ...
How do we optimize spinal surgery outcomes? Dr. Steven Glassman believes better data is the answer! On this episode, we discuss the American Spine Registry, what it is, what it's currently being used for, and its potential to provide better evidence for spine surgery, improve patient outcomes, and establish universal best practices.You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...Getting to know Dr. Glassman, his clinical practice, and why he chose spine research [0:59]Exploring ...
Have you ever misplaced your keys or forgotten a random fact and worried that you had a neurodegenerative disease? What is the difference between Alzheimer’s and simply getting old? On this episode, I sit down with memory and aging expert, Dr. Robert Friedland, to discuss his research, how Alzheimer’s is diagnosed, and habits you can start right now to help protect your brain and keep it healthy.You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...Dr. Friedland’s current clinical pra...
Training to become a neurosurgeon is both incredibly rewarding and incredibly difficult. But is it more difficult than it needs to be and how can we make the experience better? On this episode, I’m pleased to speak with University of Louisville chief resident Dr. Aurora Cruz about neurosurgical training, residency, leadership, burnout, and her advice for prospective neurosurgery residents. You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...A day in the life of a modern neurosu...
Few people have as long or as distinguished a career as Dr. Haring Nauta. On this episode, we discuss his observations about neurosurgical residency, neurosurgical training, and how to improve the quality of that experience. We also dive into his exciting work using the punctate myelotomy procedure to treat pain and current research topics.You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...Diving into the current practice of Dr. Nauta [3:02]What is a punctate midline myelotomy and ...
One of oncology’s greatest challenges in treating cancer is when it spreads to a different part of the body. When cancer spreads to the spine, it presents unique challenges for doctors creating a successful treatment plan. On this episode, I have the pleasure of interviewing the chief of Oncology at Sloan Kettering, and one of my mentors, Dr. Mark Bilsky. We’ll discuss the logistics of his practice, surgical and non-surgical treatment strategies, as well as recent advances in the field of spi...
Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2022 by shedding light on an area of research that isn’t talked about enough: pediatric spinal cord injury. Most spinal cord injury conversations revolve around adults, but children also suffer from injury and face unique challenges in both treatment and research. Thankfully, my guest, Dr. Andrea Behrman is leading the way for both! We discuss her work, her breakthroughs, the current state of pediatric spinal cord injury treatment, and what the future looks l...
If you’ve never heard the term digital neurosurgery before, you’re not alone. While it sounds like something out of a space opera, digital neurosurgery is likely the future of medical neuroscience. On this episode, I have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Thomas Picht, the first professor of digital neurosurgery in the world. We take a deep dive into everything that digital neurosurgery entails, exciting technological advancements in the field, and the future ramifications of the digitalizatio...
We constantly talk about quality improvement on this podcast, but what does it actually take? Is one method better than another? Where should hospitals start in terms of improving quality? On this episode, I sit down with Dr. Jordan Peck of Southern Maine Healthcare and the Harvard School of Public Health for a multifaceted conversation about quality improvement in the medical field.You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...Defining quality improvement in healthcare [2:24]...
It’s not every day that you get to talk to someone with 40 years of research experience in your field. Let alone, someone as distinguished as my guest for this episode. Join me as I sit down with Dr. Scott Whittemore to discuss a myriad of topics from his four-decade career as a spinal cord injury research scientist including stem cell research, proteostasis in spinal cord injured patients, and the reversible silencing of lumbar interneurons.You will want to hear this episode if you are inter...
Optimizing the quality of patient care is what this podcast is all about and my guest for this episode is challenging the status quo by creating incredible patient experiences. Dr. Ryan Grant left a promising neurosurgery career to start Vori Health, a virtual one-stop-shop for musculoskeletal care. We discuss how he made that transition, the current challenges of the medical system to provide next-level care, and how Vori Health is answering the call for better patient experiences.You will w...
Functional neurosurgery is a small but growing medical field that has had a major impact on the treatment of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. On this episode, I have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Joseph Neimat, a brilliant neurosurgeon and clinician-scientist helping lead the charge for greater research and innovation in his field. We discuss the evolution of functional neurosurgery, its future in modern medicine, and ways to optimize it for safer and more succe...
In the ever-growing, ever-advancing field of medical science, the need for self-directed learners is at an all-time high. This is especially true for both graduate medical students and medical professionals who wish to improve their patient’s quality of care. On this episode, I am joined by the brilliant Dr. Staci Saner to discuss the science of learning and the best methods for developing self-directed learners to further quality improvement in medical care.You will want to hear this episode...
One of the leading scientists researching treatments for paralysis and spinal cord injury is Dr. Susan Harkema. Her work has led to multiple breakthroughs that led to improved function and quality of life for patients that were previously deemed impossible. On this episode, I invite Dr. Harkema to discuss those discoveries, how they came about, and the future of treating paralysis.You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...Dr. Harkema’s background and training [1:20]An over...
A major issue plaguing spinal cord injury patients and the medical field as a whole is polypharmacy and the over-prescribing of pharmaceuticals. It’s a complicated problem without a “one-size-fits-all” solution. On this episode, I’m joined by Dr. Sara Guilcher to discuss the impact and risks of polypharmacy as well as some of the ways physicians can help tackle the problem and increase the quality of care for patients with a potential need for multiple medications.You will want to hear this e...
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