Do I want a pain management physician or an interventional pain medicine physician?
This chart can help you decide which option is the best for you.
Is my doctor board certified and fellowship trained by a highly accredited program?
The level and quality of training a physician undergoes is a very important thing to consider.
Once a physician finishes their residency program, they have the option to start practicing medicine on their own right away or continue with more training through a fellowship program. The highest level fellowship programs are accredited through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). After fellowship training at an ACGME accredited fellowship program, a physician is eligible to sit for a board exam for their specialty. Although becoming board certified is not necessary for a specialist, it is an extra certification step that verifies the physician has a high level of competency for their specialty. You can check to see if a physician has an ACGME accredited fellowship or is board certified at https://azmd.gov/DoctorSearch/DoctorSearch
Dr. Ranson completed his fellowship at Duke University through the American Board of Anesthesiology (ACGME accredited). He is also double board certified in Anesthesia and Interventional Pain Medicine.
How much experience does my physician have doing the recommended procedure?
This is a fair question to ask your pain physician or their medical staff. Their honesty is required. Many pain physicians may only perform a given procedure 3-4 times per year. Many pain physicians perform more invasive procedures without any surgical training and experience. Behind the scenes in the medical industry, continuous debates occur between physician groups about the safety of undertrained physicians performing more advanced procedures.
Dr. Ranson’s unique and rare medical training involve molecular biology, surgery, anesthesia, and interventional pain medicine. This combination of skills allows Dr. Ranson to perform more advanced procedures for pain patients. Dr. Ranson has been performing advanced procedures for over 15 years. He has been a leader in the number of kyphoplasties and neuromodulation procedures performed in the United States. Because of his skill set, Dr. Ranson has also been one of the select few physicians first trained in the state for some of the most recent advanced pain procedures and minimally invasive spine surgeries.
What is the physician’s history of patient outcomes?
Although it can be a bit tricky for patients to really collect this information, there are several resources that may be helpful. You can check the AZ Medical Board website for any actions taken against a physician for negligence at https://azmd.gov/DoctorSearch/DoctorSearch. Another very useful tool is to find people in the pain medicine industry who can offer some insight, like medical product representatives. These reps can usually be found and contacted through websites like LinkedIn.
Dr. Ranson’s meticulous standards combined with his surgical talent have created a very high level of patient outcomes. With some of the highest patient success rates within the Pain Medicine industry, Dr. Ranson has an established reputation amongst other physicians, industry representatives, and existing patients. Dr. Ranson also receives many referrals for patients who have experienced failed procedures and require corrective surgery.
Can I choose what pain medicine physician I am allowed to see, even if my doctor gave me a referral for a specific pain physician?
Unless you have an HMO or VA policy, you can make the decision to consult with any Pain Physician you prefer (usually without the need for a written referral from your primary care physician). Most primary care providers will honor a patient’s request to see a pain physician that the patient themselves chose.
In Dr. Ranson’s practice, new patients come in from referring doctors all over the country, as well as many referrals from very satisfied current patients. If it is determined that an insurance policy requires a referral from a primary care physician, Dr. Ranson’s team will assist in the process.
What is best for me? A corporate medicine physician or a private practice physician?
Medicine is not immune to the recent trend of larger corporations squeezing out small businesses. Insurance reimbursement cuts, increased medical supply costs and very limited availability of insurance contracts for private practice physicians have forced many physicians into a corporate medicine system. The private practice appears to be becoming a dying art and most physicians who are still holding on to the art of private practice are able to because of long-standing insurance contracts and a solid referral stream of new patients. Corporate medicine and private practice can offer 2 very different experiences and outcomes. Here is a chart to help you weigh the pros and cons.