Meet Dr. Julian Yang
Neurocritical Care Specialist

 

As a neurointensivist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Julian P. Yang, M.D., focuses on optimizing care for patients with complicated neurological illnesses ranging from traumatic brain injuries to strokes and aneurysms.

He’s one of the few physicians in Dallas who specializes in neurocritical care, which involves the careful management of multiple organ systems in relation to brain injury.

Dr. Yang says the goal is to streamline a complex system of care that takes into account the nervous system’s relationship to all the other organs in the body in situations when disease or injury to these other systems may be contributing to the recovering brain. Often even medications or treatments for other organ systems may have implications for neurological management.

Very complicated cases in the Neuro-ICU may involve the expertise of multiple subspecialists, such as neurosurgeons, epileptologists, and cardiologists.   Neurocritical care doctors can serve to coordinate care.

“At UT Southwestern, we have the only Neuro-ICU in North Texas that is staffed 365 days a year by specialists in neurocritical care. As a result, we can ensure consistency: every single patient admitted to the Neuro-ICU gets the highest level of evaluation and care,” Dr. Yang says.

“When one doctor is charged with overseeing every aspect of a patient’s care, a more comprehensive view of what’s happening with that patient emerges,” he explains. “This larger view is especially important when those critical decisions made in the initial hours and days of a neurological injury can have a lasting impact on the prospects of long term recovery.”

As Director of Tele-Neurology for the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, Dr. Yang is also deeply involved with research into telemedicine. Telestroke, the use of two-way, audio-video technology for acute stroke care, bridges specialists to hospitals outside metropolitan areas, so patients throughout the state can benefit from UT Southwestern’s expertise.

Communication is one of the highest priorities for Dr. Yang – both with his colleagues and with the families he’s helping.

“I often meet my patients and their families on the worst days of their lives,” he says. “Even though that can seem bleak, it’s really gratifying to be able to be there for a family in the moment of crisis, and to be able to talk to them about everything that’s going on.”

It’s even more satisfying, Dr. Yang adds, when he sees those same patients six months later, looking and feeling healthy and restored. “Then, I’m overjoyed,” he says.