Different kinds PM Drs?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 4/17/2009 9:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks White Beard and straydog for updating my other thread (Hi Newbie Here) and informing me there are different kinds of pain docs. Those that prescribe meds and those that don't. Figured I'd start a new thread so the other doesn't get too long.
Question is how do you tell the difference? Never been to one in my life and with my ankle condition being a cartalage defect I don't see how any injections or anything else could help it.
Could you tell by looking at their website? (they have one)
In the past I've had e-sim (electric) and ultrasound from PT and a cortisone shot and none did anything for the pain. The cortisone actually made it feel worse for a while.
As straydog said, "see about seeing if the ortho could suggest one".
Problem with that is, this new ortho I have is in the "big city" about 30 miles from me so can't see having to go that far.
The one I was considering is located in the same building as my primary dr.
I went to him this past week and while my wife was in the waiting room she said a guy and girl came in. This was at 9:30 and the guy told receptionist he had a 1:00 appt but was out of meds and if they could take him in sooner and he'd wait all day if he had to.
She said they ended up taking him in so I assuming that was for the PM doctor.

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16793
   Posted 4/17/2009 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
TB48 I am confused?? Did you see this pain dr last week in the primary dr bldg? When calling a pain mgt dr you have to ask the receptionist if the dr does procedures only or if he does both meds & procedures. Don't worry, they are use to being asked that too.

I understand the driving, I drive 60 miles round trip for 3 of my specialist but they are worth it. Not all pain dr are created equal and you may go thru several before you find one you are comfortable with, its the same with any dr. Both of my recent pain drs only saw patients on a referral from another dr. So many specialist require that. Susie

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 4/17/2009 1:46 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for the response straydog. No I've never been to a PM dr before. I went to my primary for an appt this week and in his building are multiple practices. I noticed an Advanced Pain Management sign there. That's why I was thinking to call them. I checked their website too and looks like several drs are there.

Didn't know about asking the receptionist if they do both (procedures and/or meds) so thank you for that info.

I wouldn't have any problem getting a referral from either my primary or the ortho since the ortho suggested it and I asked my Primary about it around 2 months ago (I've been contemplating this for quite some time now) and he said no problem.

Thanks again!!!


I'm sooo glad I found this forum.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16793
   Posted 4/17/2009 2:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Tony, perhaps you can give one of them a try since its more convenient. Just don't let conenience always be a deciding factor. But, always remember if you are not comfortable with whats going on-find another one. Pain mgt is not an easy area to find a good dr in unfortunately. Most of them started out an anesthesiologist and switched to pain mgt, but that does not mean they are experienced enough either. Ask how long the dr has been in pain mgt, in other words interview the dr and his receptionist. Make a list of questions to ask and do not be afraid to ask either......Susie

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/17/2009 2:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Straydog is right - best to call them and ask directly if they do what's called interventional procedures only (like injections and such), or if they also follow patients who need long term pain meds. Some doctors will give pain meds for a brief time while they're doing procedures, but won't continue prescribing if the procedures don't work. It might help if you share a bit with them all you've been through, so they don't think you're just drug shopping.

The term "advanced" leads me to think they may do interventional medicine. It's not bad to have a doctor who does it all, but increasingly even pain management specialists are moving away from prescribing for the long term. Sad, but true. But if you have a good PCP sometimes they will follow up with prescribing what the pain management doctor recommends, especially if you see the pm doc once or twice a year for a re-evaluation.

Just some thoughts.

Glad you found us, too!

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