Pain specialist and proceduralist who believes health care is an active process that seeks to improve life.
Of all our health professionals, not many have travelled quite so far and wide in the pursuit of solutions to persistent pain as Dr Ravi Agrawal.
One degree wasn't enough for Ravi. He's completed two degrees in the field of anaesthetics abroad, as well as fellowships and as a pain medicine specialist. His thirst for knowledge means he's forever learning, both from his mentors and his patients.
"So many people are taught they simply have to 'deal with' their pain. This never felt right to me. Pain is a message. I believe it's important we listen to and learn from it.
Listening and learning from pain means moving away from a classical disease-oriented approach and toward a whole-person, goal-oriented approach that emphasises an individuals ability to achieve and maintain a high quality of life."
In my early years as a medical doctor, I noticed many of my patients believed they just had to endure pain. This idea that, as humans, we simply had to “endure” pain never quite made sense to me, even as a child. I felt that pain was there for a purpose – to tell us something that would otherwise go unnoticed – and that we ought to pay attention to it.
Following my medical training, I understood acute pain and could treat it well, but I wanted a deeper understanding of chronic pain – pain for which the ‘purpose’ was more difficult to distinguish.
This led me into the field of anaesthetics. Upon completing my degree, I moved to Singapore to complete my first pain fellowship. Evidently, my interest in pain only grew during this time. I went on to complete further studies: a Diploma of Pain Medicine in Ireland, and then, a second pain fellowship in Australia. I’ve now also completed an additional three years of advanced clinical training in minimally invasive pain procedures. It’s been a long road and a lot of study, but my passion for pain medicine has carried me through.
I believe now, with my wealth of experience, my role as a doctor is to help patients (and their families) to better understand their pain and guide them towards the solutions most appropriate for their unique condition. I feel very fortunate to be able to help so many people overcome pain.
Discovering the biopsychosocial model has forever changed the way I think about pain and treatment for my patients. I am very interested in the many aspects of bioplasticity and how it influences every patient in unique ways.
My approach to treatment often involves a combination of multidisciplinary therapies, low-risk medications and, when appropriate, minimally invasive procedures. I enjoy working in an integrative team environment, where we can combine our skills and knowledge to deliver tailor-made treatments for each individual.