By: Stephen Siegel
Recently, I had pain in my lower back, hips, legs, ankles and feet. When a combination of rest, pain medication, and anti-inflammatory drugs did not resolve the problem, my PCP ordered a CT of my spine and I sought treatment from a specialist. Uncertain which specialty to consult, I made appointments with a pain specialist and a neurosurgeon.
The waiting room of the pain specialist was crowded, there were few chairs, people were standing, and the air was hot and humid. After waiting about 45 minutes, I was called into the examination area where the practice’s staff worked. The temperature in this area was very comfortable; definitely cooler than in the waiting room, and the staff did not seem concerned.
As for my “examination”, the Physician Assistant asked a series of questions, which I had already answered on this practice’s intake form. When the physician entered, I offered him the CD of my CT and the radiologist’s written report. Curiously, this physician never performed a physical examination or reviewed my CT, which I pointed out, was on his desk. After asking me about my current pain level, this physician offered to perform a spinal block in the office that afternoon!