Life is filled with rules. Many of these follow a natural law and dictate behaviors that foster survival. Some of these stem from common sense and promote civil interactions, or a non-eventful commute into the office. A few rules relate to the path we might travel, with hints of a broader or deeper relevance. For backpackers, this is Backpacking Guideline #4. Always keep your elevation (when given a choice, always take the high road).
Delivering excellence in medical care means understanding the most advanced diagnostic and treatment principles in a disease. In the US, the top academic medical centers conduct research that establishes these advanced principles in medical care. At UCLA Neurology, this means determining the best practices for patient care in epilepsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain cancer and other complex and life-changing diseases. By establishing the best practices in patient care in these diseases, UCLA Neurology faculty develops the guidelines that enable the neurological community to take care of patients with these illnesses. Establishing best practices in treating a disease means evaluating the evidence that supports various treatments, and making recommendations in set of guidelines.
This summer issue of the UCLA Neurology Chair’s Report highlights guidelines that we have helped develop for epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and for a new disease--one that has developed with the advent of engineered immune cell therapy for cancer. This last example has evolved as recently as this summer, where this writer was the attending physician on the inpatient Neurology service at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. These guidelines directly impact our patients, and ensure that medical care meets standards, that these standards reflect the most recent evidence for neurological therapies, and that UCLA Health is at the cutting edge of medical care delivery for UCLA Neurologists and our large network of community physicians.
As the summer season winds down, I leave you with an example of a more personal evidence-based guidelines: from the woods, developed through rigorous and independent testing from several of the Carmichael brothers:
Backpacking Guideline #5. Never test the bear spray downwind.