Questions YOU should ask -- and answers YOU should get when sent to a pain specialist or center

From: Helen Dynda (
Tue Aug 7 13:53:00 2001

[] Questions YOU should ask of people who are treating your pain; and some of the answers YOU should get when sent to a pain specialist or center

~ ~ ~ ~

1.) Is this practice dedicated solely to the diagnosis and treatment of pain?

Answer should be: Yes, we practice full-time in the practice of pain medicine / management.

~ ~ ~ ~ 2.) Are all the staff fully dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of pain?

Answer should be: Yes, except for part-time filing personnel or "generic" ancillary staff (people who collect lab specimens, other medical technicians).

~ ~ ~ ~ 3.) How many full time staff are on the team? Answer should be: Minimally a secretary / receptionist, a nurse, a behavioral specialist, and a physician.

3a.) What are their specialties? ~ ~ ~ ~ 4.) Do you have part time staff?

Answer should be: Yes, or no, but the physician and primary nursing staff should not be part time.

4a.) What are their specialties?

Physical therapy, occupational therapy, phlebotomy, dietary, social work, radiology technician, and administrative personnel. ~ ~ ~ ~ 5.) Did you train specifically in the diagnosis and treatment of pain?

Answer should be: Yes!! (Note: Economic pressures have caused many physicians to practice in the area of pain medicine / management without adequate training!) ~ ~ ~ ~ 6.) How long was your training in pain?

Answer should be for a physician: Fellowships (Fellowship, a period of intense medical specialty training after completion of residency training) prior to 1993, six (6 ) months were wide spread, however, from 1993 forward fellowships of one year were more common.

~ ~ ~ ~ 7.) Where did you do your training specifically in pain? Answer should be: At a university or with a proctor for an extended period of time (6-36 months). (Note: Week-end orientation courses or short visits with experts do not count as training. Orientation courses can only attest to physical presence at a course, not to demonstrated mastery knowledge or skills.) ~ ~ ~ ~ 8.) What do you use to monitor outcomes?

Answer should be: Master Piece Medical, or an equivalent. ~ ~ ~ ~ 9.) If a test is ordered:

a.....What is the purpose of the test?

b.....What difference will this test make in my treatment?

~ ~ ~ ~

10.) If a consult (the opinion or evaluation of another specialist) is requested:

a.....What type of specialist is being consulted, and why?

b.....Will the consult make any difference in my treatment?

~ ~ ~ ~

11.) If a procedure is recommended:

a.....What is the purpose of the procedure?.. 1. Diagnostic (to tell what the problem is).. 2.) Therapeutic (for treatment).. 3.) Pre-emptive (to prevent pain from becoming worse due to a planned surgery)

b.....Where did you learn this procedure?

c.....How many of these procedures have you done?

d.....What is likely to happen if the procedure is not done?

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