The Value of a Comprehensive, Integrated, Multispecialty Pain Clinic

At the outset it is important to understand that Schlesinger Pain Centers is a comprehensive, integrated, multispecialty pain clinic. But what do I mean when I say that and why is it important to you?


Let’s start with the last part first. We are a pain clinic and as such we are dedicated to diagnosing and then treating the causes of you pain. We do not treat heart disease or diabetes, except as they contribute to or complicate the treatment of your pain. Now we do regularly monitor the glycemic control of our diabetic patients because it has a direct baring on the development and treatment of an important neuropathic pain state, but if your diabetes is not well controlled you will be referred back to your primary care physician or to one of the excellent endocrinologists that we work with to improve that control. The same can be said of heart disease, kidney disease and cancer.


Looking at the second word in the description, why is it important that our clinic be integrated? Medicine has become too complex and multifaceted for any one practitioner to achieve real expertise in all areas. While simple cases can often be managed by a single individual, more complex patients will often benefit from a collaborative approach. The problem here is one of communication and control. There is an old joke that says that a camel is really a horse that was designed by a committee. We at Schlesinger Pain Centers believe that the camels should remain at the zoo. We do this by concentrating our practitioners in one physical location as much as possible, by creating an integrated team in all cases, and by constantly checking up on the regular exchange of information.


The third term multispecialty merely says that when we assembled our team we tried to choose people from different backgrounds and with training in different disciplines. Having said that we have also tried to find people with training in multiple disciplines and with broad experience in clinical practice. This helps to facilitate communication. Finally we try to develop a stable team of veterans. Many of the professionals at Schlesinger Pain Centers have been collaborating for over ten years.


Finally the first term comprehensive connotes the fact we treat all types of pain and we employ the widest possible armamentarium in its treatment. It may be the most important word of all because if you don’t consider all of the possibilities, you can’t trust the diagnosis and if you don’t consider all of the possible treatment options, how can you confidently recommend any form of treatment? An apropos aphorism warns that if the only tool you have at your disposal is a hammer, pretty soon every problem in the world begins to look like a nail. I have spent a lifetime learning about the different causes of pain and firmly believe the selection of the proper tool is often as important as the skill with which one uses that tool.


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