Featured Doctor: Padma Gulur
Dr. Padma Gulur has had a busy six months.
Since January, Dr. Gulur, Director of Inpatient Pain Services, has worked with several teams to launch three new services: The Acute Pain Service, Center for Pain Medicine satellite offices at MGH West and Emerson Hospital, and the new multidisciplinary Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care Clinic.
"It’s been a terrific year all around because the three major projects I've been working on have all come to fruition," Dr. Gulur said.
Dr. Gulur, who grew up in Kuwait and lived most of her life there, attended medical school in India and moved to the U.S. in 1990. After a residency in anesthesia at Boston University, she joined Mass General in 2005, where she completed a fellowship in pain medicine.
Dr. Gulur chose anesthesia in order to specialize in critical care, and spent six months of her internship in the critical care units.
The internship took place before the 80-hour workweek was established, so "not too many people were fighting to be on Critical Care as an intern," Dr. Gulur said. "I, however, was so focused on a future in critical care, being on call every other day for half the year was perfectly acceptable."
Dr. Gulur said that although she enjoyed most of her subspecialty rotations during residency, her first Pain rotation was just another month to her. However, when she was required to cover a second month for staffing reasons and was offered more independence in managing the patients, she changed her mind.
"It was an intense experience, almost like I didn’t see it the first time. I started to realize the relief you could give these patients who are so chronically afflicted. While I truly enjoyed anesthesia and critical care, the aspects that pain management could offer were patient continuity and independent practice," she said.
Dr. Gulur said that anesthesiologists possess unique skill sets that support expanding the scope of their practice to pain medicine.
"Pain management is a natural fit," she said.
Today, Dr. Gulur focuses on the Center for Pain Medicine’s community outreach efforts, among many other collaborative projects. The Center has expanded its services to the Metro West community with its MGH West office, which opened in April 2009, and to Emerson hospital in Concord, MA, which opened in May.
The Acute Pain Service, which is staffed for 24-hour coverage seven days a week, offers a range of interventional procedures and consults on the management of patients with postoperative, post-traumatic, or any acute pain condition requiring specialized interventions.
Having a dedicated service enables the team to provide a much higher level of care to patients, Dr. Gulur said.
Dr. Gulur is also the founding Director of the multidisciplinary Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care Clinic, which launched June 1, 2009, and is located on Yawkey 8.
"The team includes a psychologist and a physical therapist, and in the near future, we're also going to have a family behavioral therapist and acupuncture. It’s truly going to be a mind-body center," she said. "The patient is evaluated by all three providers at the same visit and the plan they are presented is the result of a combined team meeting at the end of the individual evaluations. Patients can have a coordinated care plan, which makes all the difference for chronic pain patients.”
Dr. Gulur said Mass General and the department offer "a lot of opportunities for growth and innovation."
"The vision in departmental leadership under Dr. Jeanine Wiener-Kronish and the mentorship the department offers make this an exciting place to work," she says. "Projects that allow our growth as a department naturally contribute to individual development."
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