#AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes for Episode 131 with Dr. Julian Bailes

This week, Laura and Joelle are joined by Dr. Julian E. Bailes, Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at NorthShore University HealthSystem and a surgeon specializing in Spinal Disorders, Brain Disorders, and Neoplasm who is currently bringing his expertise to local patients via The Clark here in Andersonville. We are excited to jump into this conversation with Dr. Bailes to learn more about cutting edge treatments in the industry, his time spent as an NFL physician, and his expertise in the field surrounding brain injury, particularly with concussions. 

Julian Bailes - PIC for Swedish

Dr. Julian E. Bailes


You’re probably drawn to the kind of surgery in whatever organ of the body you like … For me it was the brain and its functions and the frontiers we faced then and continue to face today.”
-Dr. Julian Bailes

Listen to Episode 131 with Dr. Julian Bailes!

Episode 131 highlights and where to find them (by timestamp):

:52 – Hear Dr. Bailes talk about his history with Chicago.

1:35 – Dr. Bailes looks back on why he wanted to dive into the medical field and become a brain surgeon. 

3:06 – Listen in on how Dr. Bailes decided to work with the NorthShore Medical Group, The Clark, and what drew him to the community.

“Our ability to serve Swedish Andersonville, the community there, is certainly present through the two neurosurgeons that are full time in Swedish.”

8:37 – Who doesn’t love a great success story? Hear the most rewarding surgeries Dr. Bailes has performed. 

Bailes Surgical GammaTile

Dr. Bailes performs surgery with GammaTile treatment.

10:11 – Hear some of the symptoms neurosurgeons look for when it comes to treatment-necessary problems or tumors in the brain. Did you know only 1-2% of individuals who suffer from headaches have any potential of a tumor?

11:58 – Tune in to hear what happens to the brain during impact and how it might lead to a concussion. Dr. Bailes was one of the first neurosurgeons to work personally with an NFL team, the Pittsburgh Steelers!

14:33 – Since discovering the long lasting effects of concussions, the medical community has done more research into the symptoms of a traumatic fall or hit. Hear some of those here.

16:39 – With so many kids playing contact sports, it’s important to be aware of what to look out for when it comes to possible brain injuries. Dr. Bailes talks about what he recommends looking out for in aspiring players. It’s crucial that the coaches know the importance of keeping their players safe.

“It’s not just the number of concussions, but the number of head impacts.”

19:19 – Tune in to hear the process of Alec Balwin ‘becoming’ Dr. Bailes in the movie Concussion.


Alec Baldwin as Dr. Julian Bailes.

“I was honored that he took on the role and played it. I will say he was very professional.”

21:45 – We are introduced to another guest, Margie, the physician liaison for growth and referrals with Swedish Hospital. She talks about things she learned from the movie that she had never known before, leading her to work alongside the real Dr. Bailes! 

24:45 – Dr. Bailes advises on how to handle our current situation with COVID-19 and doctor care. He discusses the protocols his practice is taking and the safest route for patients. They depend heavily on testing.

27:09 – Tune in for Rapid Fire Questions! Questions include: What is your favorite surgical tool? If you weren’t a surgeon, what other career would you love to take on, even for just a day? Favorite pastime when you aren’t working? How has the current COVID climate affected your work life balance? Do you have any advice for aspiring surgeons looking to specialize in the spine or brain?

Click here for more information about Swedish Hospital.
Click here for more information on The Clark.
Visit Dr. Julian Bailes profile for NorthShore University here.