Dr. Roger Olade is a specialist in internal medicine. He has worked with people suffering from a variety of disorders and virtually every disease known to man. However, Olade’s personal interests lie in pain and back pain in particular, and what type of actions can be taken as part of internal medicine to ameliorate this. What he has found, however, is that there is still a significant lack of understand about who people should see in relation to what kind of pain.
Dr. Roger Olade on the Problem with Pain Medicine
It is believed that around 25% of people did not know which healthcare providers are responsible for pain treatment. This is problematic since there is such a focus on patient-centered care nowadays, which includes a multi-modal approach to pain medicine. In other words, a lot of people with complex illnesses deal with multiple medical professionals, yet they may find none of them treat their pain because they all assume the other is doing it and the patient doesn’t know who to ask. Meanwhile, the reality is that there is no such thing as someone who specializes solely in pain because of the fact that pain is such a broad concept, experienced differently by men and women alike. However, every medical provider can and should deal with pain management to a degree, which is what patients should understand.
The Difference between Internists, Family Physician, and General Practitioners
- A family physician or FP holds either an MD (medical doctor) or DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine) and has completed a family medicine residency. They look after the full family unit regardless of their age. Indeed, numerous FPs even help to deliver babies. Their role is to diagnosis and, based on that, to treat individuals with a range of diseases. Some will also conduct minor surgery if possible in their clinic.
- An internist, or internal medicine specialist, is also an MD or DO but they have completed an internal medicine residency. Furthermore, they work solely with those over the age of 18. They role is to diagnose, treat, and care for adults in relation to their regular health but also complex illnesses.
- A generalist or general practitioner (GP) is also an MD or a DO who is not limited by a certain specialty or area of medicine. Usually, they will see any type of patient with any type of medical problem. Hence, they have quite a complex role and often cannot handle the finer details of their patients’ care, for which they then refer them. A GP works closely together with specialized physicians, therefore. They do, however, treat both those with acute and chronic diseases and illnesses, but their focus is often strongly on preventative medicine and on education people about health. Some may also complete minor surgeries.
So who do you see for pain medicine? Any of these three would be acceptable, depending on your geographical location and your insurance coverage.