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MDT, or Multi-Disciplinary Treatment, is a diagnostic and treatment method where a primary physician invites experts from multiple disciplines to collaborate after making a diagnosis.

What is MDT? What is the process of MDT?
MDT, or Multi-Disciplinary Treatment, is a diagnostic and treatment method where a primary physician invites experts from multiple disciplines to collaborate after making a diagnosis. This allows for a comprehensive, multi-dimensional understanding of the patient’s condition, and a one-time completion of disease assessment, treatment plan, rehabilitation plan, derivative problem prediction, and risk assessment. The primary physician coordinates the opinions of various disciplines and follows up on the treatment process.
The concept of MDT was first promoted in the UK, where the Department of Health gave a clear definition of MDT: “A group of medical professionals from different specialties who gather at a specific time (either in one place or via video or telephone conference) to discuss a specific patient’s condition, make comprehensive decisions on the patient’s diagnosis and treatment, with each medical professional making an independent contribution.”
In short, MDT refers to medical professionals from different specialty fields providing independent medical opinions and professional medical services for patients, aiming to ensure that patients receive the best diagnosis and treatment.

Why MDT?
The diagnosis and treatment of cancer is complex and life-threatening, and it is easy to be biased. In this case, MDT came into being. The emergence of MDT has standardized the diagnosis and treatment process through a reasonable mechanism, so that the interests of cancer patients are no longer affected by personal morals and single technology.
What’s the difference between MDT and traditional cancer diagnosis and expert consultation?
Cancer diagnosis and treatment is a disease involving multiple disciplines. Traditional cancer diagnosis, due to the high degree of specialization, leads to patients seeking medical treatment in many places, resulting in the situation of registering everywhere mentioned at the beginning of the article, making patients exhausted, spending a lot of time and money, and also having the risk of misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis due to information asymmetry.
Traditional consultations can indeed allow patients to receive diagnostic suggestions from various specialty experts one after another, but they will be limited by the non-specialized knowledge of the consulting physician, and it is easy to appear “neglecting one thing for the sake of another” in tumor comprehensive diagnosis and treatment, often making tumor patients unable to achieve the best therapeutic effect.
Compared with the previous two, the MDT model requires standardized multi-disciplinary cooperation and higher patient participation. MDT is a treatment process carried out by a team of senior experts cooperating from multiple disciplines. Under the MDT model, multiple discipline experts can comprehensively analyze the patient’s condition at the first time, ensure that all treatment options are considered, formulate the most reasonable treatment plan for the patient, thereby avoiding misdiagnosis and improving medical efficiency and medical quality.
The difference between MDT consultation and traditional consultation is not in form, but in subjective consciousness. MDT is actively discussing for specific patients, while consultations are often led by the primary physician. When he thinks he needs help from other specialties, he asks for a consultation. Therefore, consultations are mostly passive in most cases. In addition, compared with traditional multi-disciplinary consultations, MDT is a continuous diagnosis and treatment process, multi-disciplinary consultations are temporary, rarely do follow-up tracking, while MDT needs to track, participate in the whole process of diagnosis and treatment, and each step of implementation must be supported by the latest guidelines, expert consensus, and the latest literature.

What are the benefits of MDT?
Many studies have confirmed that cancer MDT diagnosis and treatment can improve patient survival, obtain correct diagnosis and treatment, obtain the latest treatment following guidelines, and can also improve patient quality of life and reduce various costs. Cancer MDT can also help patients and their families avoid the dilemma of “medical lottery”, obtain comprehensive and integrated medical opinions and treatment arrangements. Multi-disciplinary experts gather together to formulate individualized treatment plans for patients. Avoid repeated medical treatments or wandering between different opinions in various departments, which is beneficial to seize the best opportunity for treatment.
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