- Graduate School - Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (2010-2012), Bioethics
- Fellowship - Washington University School of Medicine (2008-2010), Neurocritical Care
- Residency - UT Southwestern Medical Center (2005-2008), Neurology
- Internship - John Peter Smith Hospital (2004-2005), Transitional Year
- Medical School - Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine (1999-2004)
Michael Rubin, M.D.
- Neuro-Critical Care
Michael Rubin, M.D., M.A., is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics and Neurological Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Dr. Rubin earned his medical degree in 2004 at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in Lubbock, Texas, and performed an internship in neurology at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. He then completed a residency in neurology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, followed by a neurocritical care fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. He later received a master’s degree in bioethics and health policy from Loyola University in Chicago in 2013.
Dr. Rubin served as an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Washington University in St. Louis for three years before joining UT Southwestern in 2013. He has clinical appointments at UT Southwestern University Hospital and Parkland Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Rubin is Chair of the UT Southwestern Ethics Committee and a member of the Medical Center’s program in Ethics in Science and Medicines. He also co-directs the “Ethics in Clinical Science” course at UT Southwestern’s Center for Translational Medicine.
Among his many honors, Dr. Rubin is a 2015 recipient of the Presidential Service Award as well as a Presidential Citation by the Neurocritical Care Society. He is a member of the editorial board of Currents, the online journal of the Neurocritical Care Society, and he serves as a neurology reviewer for the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Rubin has lectured widely on palliative care, medical decision-making, organ donation, and other neurocritical care topics, and he has authored or co-authored reports and reviews in peer-reviewed journals such as the American Journal of Bioethics, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Journal of Critical Care and Neurocritical Care, Lancet Neurology, and Medical Ethics Advisor, as well as chapters in textbooks on neurotrauma and neurological critical care.
Meet Dr. Rubin
Neurologist Specializing in Neurocritical Care in Dallas
Severe brain injuries and illnesses that leave patients unconscious for days, weeks, or even longer pose some of health care’s most heart-wrenching dilemmas. To address and ease the stress and uncertainty of such situations, Dr. Michael Rubin is dedicated to complementing specialized medical expertise in neurocritical care with comprehensive assistance to families struggling to make decisions on behalf of their loved ones.
As a member of UT Southwestern’s Division of Neurocritical Care, Dr. Rubin works closely with colleagues to provide intensive care for patients with life-threatening conditions such as traumatic brain injury, cerebral aneurysm, stroke, meningitis, and spinal and brain tumors.
“A disorder of the neurologic system affects the entire body,” Dr. Rubin says. “So you have to have some understanding of all of the body’s systems to understand how to help the brain.”
Collaboration in treating such complex conditions is crucial. “Traditionally, a hospital patient’s care is guided by one physician, and specialists come by to consult,” Dr. Rubin says. “But with the intense pace and complexity of neurological intensive care, members of the neurocritical care team work in close collaboration with physicians and surgeons of different specialties. This way, we can share multiple perspectives at the same time and figure out how to put them together for the benefit of the patient.”
The division’s highly skilled nurses, Dr. Rubin notes, are key members of the neurocritical care team. “The most crucial aspect of neurologic intensive care is the ability to recognize subtle changes as they are happening so that we can intervene rapidly,” he says. “Our nurses have superb abilities in this area – they are specialists in their own right.”
Dr. Rubin and his colleagues see patients at Zale Lipshy Pavilion – William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital and Parkland Memorial Hospital. At both institutions, dedicated, state-of-the-art neurologic intensive care units are staffed 24/7 with fellowship-trained neurointensivists. “Whether a patient has been referred to our team due to a severe vascular condition or has sustained a traumatic brain injury, we approach all of our cases with an open mind,” Dr. Rubin says. “Each patient is treated as a person, not a biomedical puzzle.”
As Chair of the UT Southwestern Ethics Committee, Dr. Rubin helps families and fellow team members work through the difficult questions that arise during the care of neurocritical patients, especially those in a coma or vegetative state. “We are there to help in moments of crisis,” he says. “We are all trying to figure out when it makes sense to persist with treatment, and how to recognize when what we’re doing is not providing a real benefit to the patient or is not what he or she would have wanted. It’s important to fully understand the situation to foster agreement on how to navigate through it.
“Typically, when you think about successful patient care, you think of good outcomes,” Dr. Rubin reflects. “But there is only so much that medicine can do. And even when it turns out that a patient will not recover, families appreciate our emphasis on ethics at each stage of treatment, our palliative and pastoral care resources, and our sharing of their emotional experience.”
It is an often difficult and yet gratifying aspect of his work, Dr. Rubin says: “Families come back and tell us that, even at such an incredibly stressful time, they felt supported. They did not feel alone.”
AAN position statement: The COVID-19 pandemic and the ethical duties of the neurologist.
Rubin MA, Bonnie RJ, Epstein L, Hemphill C, Kirschen M, Lewis A, Suarez JI, Neurology 2020 May
Determination of Death by Neurologic Criteria in the United States: The Case for Revising the Uniform Determination of Death Act.
Lewis A, Bonnie RJ, Pope T, Epstein LG, Greer DM, Kirschen MP, Rubin M, Russell JA, The Journal of law, medicine & ethics : a journal of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics 2019 Dec 47 4_suppl 9-24
Palliative Care in the Neuro-ICU: Perceptions, Practice Patterns, and Preferences of Neurointensivists.
Bar B, Creutzfeldt CJ, Rubin MA, Neurocritical care 2019 Aug
The Patient and Family Perioperative Experience During Transfer of Care: A Qualitative Inquiry.
Stutzman SE, Olson DM, Greilich PE, Abdulkadir K, Rubin MA AORN journal 2017 Feb 105 2 193-202
Racial differences in withdrawal of mechanical ventilation do not alter mortality in neurologically injured patients.
Rubin MA, Dhar R, Diringer MN Journal of critical care 2014 Feb 29 1 49-53
Prediction of potential for organ donation after cardiac death in patients in neurocritical state: a prospective observational study.
Rabinstein AA, Yee AH, Mandrekar J, Fugate JE, de Groot YJ, Kompanje EJ, Shutter LA, Freeman WD, Rubin MA, Wijdicks EF Lancet neurology 2012 May 11 5 414-9
What to Do When There Aren't Enough Beds in the PICU.
Rubin MA, Truog RD AMA journal of ethics 2017 Feb 19 2 157-163
Brain death, the determination of brain death, and member guidance for brain death accommodation requests: AAN position statement.
Russell JA, Epstein LG, Greer DM, Kirschen M, Rubin MA, Lewis A Neurology 2019 Jan
Transfusion of Blood Products in the Neurocritical Care Unit: An Exploration of Rationing and Futility.
Malaiyandi DP, Henderson GV, Rubin MA Neurocritical care 2017 Dec
An interdisciplinary response to contemporary concerns about brain death determination.
Lewis A, Bernat JL, Blosser S, Bonnie RJ, Epstein LG, Hutchins J, Kirschen MP, Rubin M, Russell JA, Sattin JA, Wijdicks EFM, Greer DM Neurology 2018 Feb 90 9 423-426
- AAN position statement: The COVID-19 pandemic and the ethical duties of the neurologist.
- Neuro-Critical Care
Q&A by Dr. Rubin
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