Episode #44 Achieving Better Surgical Outcomes with Elizabeth Raskin, MD

Body of Wonder Podcast Dr. Elizabeth Raskin is a trailblazing integrative surgeon who is combining nutritional guidance, mind-body techniques, and cutting-edge robotics to change surgical care.

Dr. Raskin’s journey into medicine was marked by a deep curiosity about the interconnectedness of the human body, mind, and spirit. As a result, she has become a pioneer in the field of integrative surgery, a discipline that embraces a holistic approach to healing.

In this conversation, Drs. Weil, Maizes, and Raskin discuss how inexpensive and widely-available mind-body techniques, such as breathwork and meditation, are being used to prepare patients mentally and emotionally for surgery, leading to faster recoveries.

Dr. Raskin discusses how the foods we eat can play a pivotal role in both preventing and recovering from illness and surgery.

We also delve into integrative medicine’s philosophy of patient-centered care, where the individual is seen as a whole, unique person rather than a collection of symptoms.

You won't want to miss this insightful look at the future of surgical care.

Please note, the show will not advise, diagnose, or treat medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or healthcare provider for questions regarding your health.

Play Episode


Andrew Weil, MD and Victoria Maizes, MD


Elizabeth Raskin , MD

My first recollection of wanting to become a physician was sitting cross-legged on the floor of my father's basement study. At five years of age, I remember listening to him practice his rheumatology lectures projected from a slide carousel on to the bare white walls. I like to think my introduction into medicine was through the kaleidoscopic, abstract art of histology slides. Twenty years later, I led both my father and his father, a general practitioner, on a tour of my medical school pathology lab. The same fascination that I felt trying to decipher the colorful images of inflammation was still present in their faces, 40 and 60 years after obtaining their medical degrees.

After college, I became a surgical technician to understand the inner workings of the operating room. My interest in surgery never waivered as I became enchanted with surgical culture, the technical challenges, and the opportunity to immediately affect a patient's health. I completed a fellowship in colorectal surgery after residency. I gravitated towards minimally invasive surgery when I became a full-fledged surgeon, eventually sub-specializing in robotic surgery. My instinct was that making smaller incisions and minimizing trauma to the patient were keys to faster recovery and return to healthy living.

What I didn't understand during the several decades of surgical training and work was the definition of "healing." It is not just sealing an anastomosis and regaining GI function. I began to see that healing was possible even in patients who could not be cured.

I currently serve as the Surgical Director for the Margolis Family Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, CA. My goal is to develop an Integrative Surgical Program to enable patients to truly heal after surgery.

See more