A multidisciplinary approach to spine care

Q&A with Frederick Marciano, MD, PhD, one of our board-certified neurosurgeons.

Q: Can you briefly describe the spine specialists involved in multi- disciplinary care and what their individual roles would/could be?

A: There are two types of physicians that medically manage patients. A physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist, who does not perform procedures, and a PM&R/anesthesiologist who performs procedures for spine related disorders.

A Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician will be the first to determine the treatment path. They will determine a non-operative treatment plan, such as injections, or a surgical treatment plan. If the treatment plan is surgical, then they will see a spine surgeon.

How would you describe multi-disciplinary care to a patient? What are the patient benefits?

A: When a patient has a set of clinical symptoms the biggest issues is where do you go or who do you see? There are different aspects of care for the patient including surgical and therapeutic aspects of care. A multi-disciplinary approach utilizes the different specialties to look at all aspects of care for the patient.

Why is it important to have different specialties work together?

A: When you have different specialties working together, you provide efficient and cost effective care for the patient.

What are some of the most asked questions and/or expressed frustrations from spine patients?

A: The patients are often frustrated with the time it takes to be treated or evaluated. A patient may be referred to a surgeon, but the surgeon’s schedule is booked for weeks. Then, a patient may see a surgeon to be told that they are not a surgical candidate. A multi-disciplinary approach expedites care in that a patient will through an appropriate treatment workflow to avoid delays.

How do you keep patient experience at the core of your care?

A: I am very sensitive to making sure that communication is as good as it could be. [I] ensure that the patient is heard, that they are getting timely care. This goes for support staff as well, not just myself.

Our "all under one roof" approach goes beyond treatment. Learn more about our program.

Neuro and spine overview

Injection therapy