(originally published in 2015)
SJ Pain Associates (private practice pain management/palliative care)
St. Joseph Medical Center, Menorah Medical Center and Cass Regional Hospital
“In addition to my father, I was encouraged and supported by Mayo alumni mentors Dr. Gene Fibush (ANES ’74), Dr. Gene Bode (ANES ’81) and Dr. Jim Mallow (ANES ’74) — smart doctors who pointed me to Mayo to pursue critical care.”
- Fellowship: Critical Care and Pain Management, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education
- Residency: Anesthesiology, St. Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri
- Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City
- Undergraduate: University of Kansas, Lawrence
- Native of: Emporia, Kansas
Why did you decide to pursue medicine?
My father went to Mayo Clinic immediately after serving as a physician in World War II to begin his residency. He met my mother there and got married. After leaving Mayo he had a long, successful career as an internist in Emporia, Kansas. Like a lot of physicians, I’ve been inspired by my dad. My path to medicine and Mayo Clinic was no doubt a result of that inspiration.
Why did you train at Mayo Clinic?
In addition to my father, I was encouraged and supported by Mayo alumni mentors Dr. Gene Fibush (ANES ’74), Dr. Gene Bode (ANES ’81) and Dr. Jim Mallow (ANES ’74) — smart doctors who pointed me to Mayo to pursue critical care.
In 1984 pain management may not have been an established fellowship. I was accepted to a critical care fellowship but asked if I could spend half my time in the chronic pain clinic and also focus on perioperative pain. My request was granted. I received excellent additional training in injection techniques — at that time all performed without fluoroscopy. We were taught the importance of tactile expertise. Knowledge of anatomy was critical. It was great experience.
How does Mayo Clinic influence your practice?
In addition to my pain experience, my time was spent with many excellent staff members in the ICUs of Saint Marys and Methodist hospitals. It gave me strong experience and knowledge of cardiopulmonary physiology and pharmacology plus technical skills in central access and monitoring that remain key to my knowledge.
What do you do in your spare time?
I am an avid bicyclist and gardener.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
My pals will agree that I was a lousy athlete, and I beat myself up over the years. As a result of the miracle of modern medicine, I have an artificial ankle and hip, which have kept me active and improved my quality of life dramatically. During these times of frustration in health care I never lose sight of these miracles we take for granted. I learned personally about chronic pain early on. Those joints are a blessing.