Dr. Garg is an expert pain physician in Cincinnati, was chosen and awarded as one of the Top pain physicians in the USA and Cincinnati through the poll conducted by Cincinnati Magazine. She is currently practicing as an Anesthesiologist and Pain physician, seeing numerous patients every day at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and its satellite centers. She is also on a mission to spread awareness about both common and not so common pain-related issues and how people can do simple things to deal with them.
Interviewer: Please brief us about your work profile.
Dr. Garg: I currently work as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Chronic Pain Medicine at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. I am also the Director of the UCMC Clifton Pain Clinic.
Interviewer: Tell us about your long medical journey so far.
Dr. Garg: My association with medicine has undeniably been a lengthy one. I am blessed to have received training from revered teachers at top-notch institutes throughout my career. I started my journey when I joined the medical school the year 1992 after a rigorous entrance exam. Although my primary specialty is anesthesia, I worked as a critical care specialist for three years before I transitioned to the US with my family from India. However, I got more motivated to dwell into pain management and take it up as a career after I started my training in my practice in anesthesiology at the University of Iowa. Working as an anesthesiology resident in the pain clinic at my institute during my training gave me a greater intuition into the practical world of pain. To many, the practice of chronic pain medicine mainly involves prescribing opioids. However, it was incredible to comprehend the various other options that could be offered to the patients to help them through this ordeal. I have been hugely inspired by my mentors, who perform an extraordinary job of interacting and treating their patients. My practice has been immensely impacted by their work ethics and philosophy.
Interviewer: What inspired you to become a pain physician?
Dr. Garg: Honestly, if I look back at my life, I think my answer to this question must have altered rather melodramatically and frequently too. When I was a teenager, I so badly desired to become a singer. Thankfully enough, once I got initiated into the field of medicine, I was enthused by vivacity offered by the world of chronic pain medicine. The piousness and unpretentiousness motivate me to ensure that each patient that visits our clinic to consult about their pain-related issues gets the best possible treatment and options. I believe we must endeavor to achieve the maximum improvement in their ordeals. This is the facet of pain medicine, which inspires me to continue my work and to become a better physician. A smile on the face of my patients when they come for follow up is like an elixir to me.
Interviewer: I understand that you’re have been expert panel that will formulate guidelines about low back pain?
Dr. Garg: Yes, you are right, I honored to a member of the national task force that formulated guidelines on the lumbar facet mediated pain blocks and interventional procedures. This committee included national and international experts put together from various countries. These facet joints are very small joints situated in the lumbar spine and become painful due to injury, arthritic or degenerative changes. Injecting a local anesthetic into these joints provides pain relief and improves the range of motion. We worked on guidelines for diagnostic nerve by neurolysis or destruction of nerves by radiofrequency ablation under fluoroscopic/ultrasound guidance. We formulated specific evidence-based medicine guidelines, standards of care, to encourage standardization for all pain management practitioners. I believe that this will improve patient care and decrease redundant interventions.
Interviewer: What is the main challenge you face during your practice, I believe you have a publication about it as well?
Dr. Garg: I see around 400 patients per month. The biggest challenge, and I think I speak for every pain physician, are the patient’s belief and expectations about their disabilities. Patients usually have associated presumptive notions, which make it challenging for physicians to treat their pain. These include how the pain experience is anticipated to be harmful, or the disability associated with it, and the assumptions of reinstatement to a normal quality of life. In my publication, I have dwelled upon various tools and models that have been developed to get a better understanding of these aspects of chronic pain and aid in providing a more comprehensive approach. I have emphasized that the initial pain management consultation should encompass affirmative recognition and addressing the organic pain beliefs of the patients. Available evidence shows that patient beliefs, attitudes, and expectations can affect the outcome and response to treatment.
Interviewer: Please tell us about your research?
Dr. Garg: Research is very close to my heart, and I believe that it will improve our ability to provide better therapeutic options to our patients. I think I am fortunate to have multiple publications in peer review journals and chapters in standard reference textbooks. Currently, I am actively involved as a researcher for the department of Chronic Pain Medicine and have multiple research projects underway.
Company Name: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio
Contact Person: Shuchita Garg MBBS, MD, DNB, MNAMS
Email: Send Email
Country: United States