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What Is a Team-Focused Approach to Treating TBI?

What Is a Team-Focused Approach to Treating TBI?


What is a team-focused approach to treating TBI?

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[Dr. Heechin Chae] I have a team, whether it be a psychologist, social worker, a therapist coming in to assess the specific area of that. Sometimes these people need medications so I have to work with a psychiatrist to provide that need. So as you can see, I feel like in many ways, I feel like a conductor of orchestra. I have these wonderful orchestra members in my clinic and my center, and my job is how to put them together. Believe me I'm not a musician, but I was watching symphonies here and there and I thought of, "Wow I think my role is like that conductor." And that's what I see. I think each patient is like a different symphony or piece of music to understand and to come up with the right instruments to play. Same thing—the right instrument to help this person heal. And I think that approach has been working and does work and will work, and I hope that more providers out there will really embrace that approach, rather than just focusing on symptoms— getting rid of the headaches or getting rid of depression. I think those types of symptom-focused treatment or rehab is bound to fail or bound to not have the most effective outcome.

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Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough, Lara Collins, and Ashley Gilleland, BrainLine.

Heechin Chae, MD Heechin Chae, MD was appointed site director of DVBIC at Fort Belvoir and chief of the Traumatic Brain Injury Department at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in 2011. He will become the director of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence satellite at Fort Belvoir in 2013.

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