It was in my last year of medical school that my personal pain story began. Unable to determine the cause of my own pain, I turned to a more senior doctor for help. Sadly, my pain was dismissed, and so began a twenty-year journey of chronic pain, before finally finding the correct diagnosis and treatment. This experience shaped my entire view of medicine and taught me the golden rule of pain care - always believe the patient's pain is real.
Following my medical degree in London, I set off to travel and eventually found my way here, to beautiful Western Australia. I spent some time practising in the rheumatology unit of Royal Perth Rehabilitation Hospital before obtaining the fellowship of the Royal Australian College of general practitioners.
During my time working in aged-care, pain management once again became an area of increasing interest. I feel it is a privilege to help resolve someone's pain. When my wife co-founded Painless, it was only natural that I join her and shift my focus entirely to pain care.
I've always admired the great Canadian physician - a founder of Johns Hopkins Hospital - Sir William Osler. Two of his quotes, in particular, have resonated with me, "Listen to the patient, he is telling you the diagnosis" and "Ask not what disease the patient has, but rather what person the disease has."
I believe an accurate diagnosis is only step one. Step two is determining the underlying cause; the driving forces that create illness to begin with. I try to take a holistic approach with my patients. I look at the problem from many angles - physical and mental, emotional and social, even financial and spiritual factors may require consideration. Only once we've identified what is driving your pain can we begin to address it.