Title: "That's all very interesting, but my pain is real" - Serenity Amidst Pushback
Synopsis: Change is hard. Every day, I ask my patients - implicitly or explicitly - to do what is perhaps the hardest thing to do. Change. Choose a different response. My journey over the last several years resonates with how hard this is, too. Especially when the first step in the journey means unlearning old assumptions. How do I know how to "dose" this pain science? How does this fit with what I'm already doing, or with "structural pathology"?
What did I learn from Pain Revolution? Getting in shape for a multi-day ride was an experiential metaphor that taught me empathy for change, sacrifice, doing more than just what comes easily, and confronting just how difficult it is to choose a different response. How much harder for my patients whose pain is not self-imposed and when it doesn't seem to serve a greater purpose. How do we respond to pushback?
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BIO: Christopher T Caldwell, D.O. currently serves as the Medical Director of the Montana Spine and Pain Center in Missoula. He has long been an advocate for the biopsychosocial model, having studied psychology and pre-med at Wheaton College, a faith-based liberal arts school that prides itself on the integration of faith and reason.
This early exposure to the role of the mind, body and spirit in health informed his medical studies at the founding school of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO where he also served as teaching fellow in clinical anatomy. He completed a surgical internship prior to his residency training and board certification in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine & Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, and was awarded Outstanding Resident by the American Osteopathic Association.
After teaching in the manual medicine department at his alma mater, he completed his Anesthesia Pain Medicine fellowship at the University of Iowa under Rick Rosenquist, MD who is now Chair of Pain Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.
He served as President of the Utah Academy of Pain Medicine during his tenure practicing in Park City, and was selected for the Montana Medical Association's Physician Leadership Program. He currently serves as the Pain representative to the Neuroscience Leadership Council for Providence St Joseph Health. He is active as a continuing education lecturer to his peers and serves regularly as preceptor to health professions students (medical, PA, pharmacy and PT) and family medicine resident physicians.
As a physician who has treated persistent pain for 15 year, Dr. Caldwell has a passion for the patient narrative (and named a daughter Storey because "Nothing changes people like the power of narrative"). He is both thrilled to have good news in pain treatment (describes himself as "captivated by neuroscience optimism"), and knows from the trenches how difficult it can be to reach those you are trying to help. He struggles daily with how to best teach into each patient's story.
Dr Caldwell also has a lifetime goal of one country per birthday, born from his exchange student experience in Belgium. These last two traits are what compelled him to join Lorimer Moseley and David Butler on the inaugural Pain Revolution ride from Melbourne to Adelaide in April 2017.