Meet Our Leaders

Douglas W. Wisor, M.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Douglas Wisor is the Chief Executive Officer of National Spine & Pain Centers. A pain practitioner for nearly 20 years, he is board certified in both Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pain Management. A graduate of Dickinson College and the SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine, he completed his residency training at The Medical College of Virginia/VCU Medical Centers. Prior to joining National Spine & Pain Centers in 2002, he served as a Major in the United States Army Medical Corp. While on active duty, he served as Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Eisenhower Army Medical Center and brought several new minimally invasive spinal procedures and pain management techniques to both active duty soldiers and military dependents.

Early in his career, several of the interventional spinal pain management procedures he routinely performs had been rarely performed on a national level in an outpatient office-based setting. His interventional pain expertise and administrative leadership is extensive. Dr. Wisor was instrumental in successfully integrating anesthesiologists into the Virginia division and tactically growing the Virginia division from 4 to now 25 treatment centers. Under his financial leadership, National Spine has become one of the largest and most recognized pain practices in the United States, currently operating in 60 centers in 7 states and Washington DC.

Dr. Wisor has also previously served on the national clinical advisory board of St Jude Medical for spinal cord stimulation and is routinely asked to counsel physicians not only on the performance of sophisticated interventional pain procedures, but also on integrating critical business aspects into their practice.

Mark H. Coleman, M.D.


Dr. Mark H. Coleman is the President of National Spine & Pain Centers. Dr. Coleman joined National Spine & Pain Centers in 1999. He was raised in Vestal, NY. While at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Dr. Coleman won distinction from the National Institutes of Health for research on the pharmacologic manipulation of nerve transmission.

His current work is in the area of minimally invasive treatments for herniated lumbar discs and spinal stenosis. Through the FDA sanctioned research, Dr. Coleman is able to offer cutting edge, non-surgical treatments to his spinal pain patients.

Dr. Coleman is a highly regarded member of the following professional organizations:

  • American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians
  • North American Spine Society
  • International Intradiscal Therapy Society
  • International Spinal Injection Society
  • American Pain Society

Dr. Coleman is admired by his patients and colleagues for his excellent diagnostic abilities and for his compassionate manner of delivering patient care.

Peter Staats, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Peter Staats is the Chief Medical Officer of National Spine & Pain Centers. He is recognized as one of the country’s foremost interventional pain management doctors, having been named among the top 1 percent of pain management physicians in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

He founded the division of Pain Medicine in the Department of Anesthesia at Johns Hopkins University, where he served as the director for more than a decade. In 2003, he co-founded Premier Pain Centers of New Jersey which recently joined forces with National Spine & Pain Centers.

Dr. Staats has been board certified by the American Society of Anesthesiology, the Academy of Pain Medicine and the world institute of pain and the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians. He is a fellow of the World Institute of Pain and the North American Neuromodulation Society. He is past president of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, the North American Neuromodulation Society and is currently chairman of the board of examination of the World Institute of Pain.

Dr. Staats is widely published, having edited or authored numerous textbooks on pain medicine. He has also written nearly 300 articles, book chapters and abstracts on the diagnosis and management of complex pain problems for prominent publications such as JAMA, Lancet, Anesthesiology, Pain Medicine and others. He has received research grants from numerous sources numerous and his patents have led to new approaches for pain management.

Dr. Staats earned his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed his residency and fellowship in the specialties of anesthesiology, critical care medicine and pain management at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland. Dr. Staats also earned an MBA at Johns Hopkins University.

Ali El-Mohandes, M.D.

Vice President of Physician & Regional Development

Dr. Ali El-Mohandes is the Vice President of Physician & Regional Development of National Spine & Pain Centers, along with fellow NSPC physician Dr. Anish S. Patel. After obtaining his medical degree from Assiut University Medical School in Egypt, Dr. El-Mohandes completed both an Anesthesiology residency and a Pain Management fellowship at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to NSPC, he served as Clinical Instructor of Anesthesiology at Shadyside Hospital, part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s flagship medical entity.

“I am very results oriented,” Dr. El-Mohandes said. “I want to be the last stop in a patient’s journey to find a solution to their pain. It is so gratifying when the patient says ‘I’m feeling better; I can do more at work and with my family!’”

In addition to his long-standing career at National Spine & Pain Centers, Dr. El-Mohandes is a Diplomat of the American Board of Anesthesiology, Board Certified in Pain Medicine, and a member in good standing in the following professional organizations:

• American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians
• International Spine Intervention Society
• International Society of Interventional Physicians
• American Academy of Pain Medicine
• American Pain Society
• American Society of Anesthesiologists
• American Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiology
• American Society of Regional Anesthesia
• International Anesthesia Research Society
• Carrier Contract Advisory Committee – Medicare/Maryland Member

Dr. El-Mohandes believes in the honest and straightforward approach to patient care. He has gained the admiration and confidence of his patients because of his concern for their well-being and his refined clinical capabilities.

Dr. El-Mohandes is married and has three children. He enjoys family time, fishing, reading, sports, and traveling. He is a keen aquarist, and is also an IFR Pilot and CEO of two aircraft companies.

Anish S. Patel, M.D., M.B.A.

Vice President of Physician & Regional Development

Dr. Anish S. Patel is the Vice President of Physician & Regional Development at National Spine & Pain Centers, along with fellow NSPC physician Dr. Ali El-Mohandes. He attended MGR Medical University/Harvard Medical International in India. Following medical school, he returned home to Detroit where he completed a residency in Anesthesiology, serving as Chief Resident in his final year at Detroit Medical Center before pursuing fellowship training in Interventional Pain Management at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

“My goal is always to relieve a patient’s pain and restore their function to get them back to the life they deserve”, Dr. Patel said.

Among his achievements and established clinical occupation at NSPC, Dr. Patel serves as the Chief Medical Officer at AIS HealthCare and is a member in good standing of the following professional organizations:

• American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians
• American Academy of Pain Medicine
• North American Neuromodulation Society
• American Society of Anesthesiologists
• American Society of Anesthesiologists-Political Action Committee
• American Society of Regional Anesthesia
• American Medical Association
• National Society for Healthcare Business Consultants

Dr. Patel has a truly multidisciplinary approach to pain management, utilizing interventional, medical, and rehabilitative techniques. He strives to provide his patients with compassionate care to improve their lifestyle and sense of well-being.

Assaf T. Gordon, M.D.

Director of Clinical Outcomes & Informatics

Dr. Gordon joined National Spine & Pain Centers from the University of California at Los Angeles, where he completed advanced fellowship training in Pain Medicine. Using sophisticated non-surgical solutions, he diagnoses and treats acute and chronic pain with a comprehensive approach. He is highly skilled in a variety of interventional pain procedures, including cervical and lumbar epidural nerve blocks, joint injections, radiofrequency neurotomy, sympathetic blockade, spinal cord stimulation, and discography.

Dr. Gordon’s leadership skills and dedication to the medical community have been apparent throughout his career. While earning his medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he was voted class president and earned the Senior Merck Award for Outstanding Student Leadership. During his specialty training, he served as chairman of the Association of Academic Physiatrists Residents and Fellows Council, and was selected as the only in-training board member of the Academic Leadership Program.

Dr. Gordon is a published researcher and has lectured to his peers on various pain management topics. An avid athlete, Dr. Gordon has competed in numerous marathons and triathlons. He was a member of Brown University’s cross-county and track teams, and won the bronze medal for triathlon in the 1993 World Maccabiah Games in Israel.

Today he continues to enjoy running and spending time with his wife, son, and daughters. Dr. Gordon earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed his residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at New York University. He completed advanced fellowship training in Pain Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles. Dr. Gordon is Board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and in Pain Medicine. He maintains active membership in the International Spine Interventional Society.

Amy J. Dilcher

Vice President and General Counsel

Bringing substantive experience in both strategic legal guidance and transactional work in the health care industry, Amy Dilcher joined the National Spine and Pain Centers as Vice President and General Counsel in July 2018.

With a clinical background, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh and worked as a registered nurse for two years at Georgetown University Hospital.

Amy was intrigued by the intersection of medical, legal and ethical issues that arise in health care settings and the complexity of the regulatory environment as well as the opportunity to serve as an advocate for health care providers. She earned her Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law and Master of Laws (LLM) in health law from the University of Houston Law Center.

She worked for five years as an associate at Proskauer Rose LLP in Washington, D.C. representing long term care providers in transactional, regulatory and litigation matters. .

For nearly a decade, Amy served as associate counsel for the University of Maryland Medical System providing legal guidance to a 12-member hospital system with 2,300 beds and 115,000 annual patient admissions.

In 2014, she was named Vice President and General Counsel at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown managing the day-to-day operations of the legal department and counseling leadership and management in a variety of areas including corporate, operational, regulatory and complex transactional matters.

Away from NSPC, Amy spends her husband and time with her active 6-year-old twins.

Carol Drescher, DNP, NP-C, CNRN, CRRN, RN-BC

Director of Clinical Quality & Education

Dr. Carol Drescher is a doctorate-prepared nurse practitioner who serves as Director of Clinical Education and Training for National Spine & Pain Centers. In this role, she promotes high quality, evidence-based care by educating and training advanced practice providers in pain medicine. She is enthusiastic about sharing knowledge with other providers to enhance their clinical skills in pain assessment, evaluation and management.

Dr. Drescher comes from a professional background as an in-patient rehabilitation nurse practitioner where she cared for individuals affected by brain injury, neurological disorders, and various other disabilities with attention to treating every patient with the highest degree of dignity and respect. She participated at the leadership level within the nursing and respiratory therapy departments to elevate the quality of care and enhance patient outcomes.

Dr. Drescher brings her enthusiasm for teaching and employing best practices to the pain management field. A primary focus is on ensuring that clinical practice guidelines are disseminated and adopted in order to assist providers in delivering health care based on scientific underpinnings and clinical outcomes studies.

Drescher earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, KY, by developing an educational program to teach advanced practice providers about interventional procedures for treating spinal pain. She also earned a master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner from Rivier College in Nashua, NH.; a master’s degree in writing and literature from Rivier College; and a bachelor’s degree in the humanities from Bradford College in Massachusetts.

She is board certified in several specialties, including as a family nurse practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners; in pain management nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center; as a neuroscience registered nurse by the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing; and as a rehabilitation registered nurse by the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses. She is member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses and the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.

Jody Walker, Pharm D

Director of Clinical Pharmacology

Dr. Joseph (Jody) Walker specializes in the pharmacological management of pain. As director of clinical pharmacology, he is responsible for ensuring that National Spine & Pain Centers complies with all federal, state and local drug regulations. He also consults regularly with National Spine & Pain Centers’ physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners to ensure their medication plans avoid potential drug interactions, especially in patients who take medications to manage chronic diseases or other health issues.

Dr. Walker has extensive knowledge of  opiate management and is responsible for the careful monitoring of all NSPC patients who are being treated with controlled substances. Patient risk, including any history of abuse or addiction, is assessed and if significant risk factors for abuse are present, patients must undergo psychological evaluation and treatment. Dr. Walker works with their prescribing physicians to monitor and reevaluate as necessary.

Dr. Walker has more than 26 years of experience in retail and clinical pharmacy settings, having started his career in 1989 with the Rite Aid Corporation before moving to Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, VA as the pharmacist in charge of the operating room satellite pharmacy. He has specialized in pain management pharmacology for the last 13 years.

Dr. Walker received his bachelor of pharmacy degree from the University of Mississippi in 1989 and completed his doctor of pharmacy at the Shenandoah University School of Pharmacy in 2007.

Marc Loev, M.D.

Founder & Consultant

A graduate of Tulane University, Dr. Marc Loev is board certified in both Anesthesiology and Pain Management. Upon receiving his medical degree at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, he went on to complete both his Anesthesia residency training and Pain Management fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Loev remained on faculty at the University of Pennsylvania as an instructor in both Anesthesiology and Pain Management until relocating to Maryland in 1998 to co-found The Spine Center.

From 1998 through 2011, Dr. Loev was instrumental in expanding The Spine Center (TSC) from three physicians and one ambulatory surgery center to 16 physicians and 10 ambulatory surgery centers. Dr. Loev is intimately aware of both the clinical requirements of pain management practitioners and their need to be facile in this ever changing regulatory and reimbursement environments. He strongly encourages and teaches physicians on self-advocacy issues.

He continues to lecture at national pain management conferences and is often asked to serve as a consultant for several medical technology companies.

Les A. Zuckerman, M.D.

Founder & Consultant

Raised in New York City, Dr. Les Zuckerman matriculated at CCNY and in 1989 completed an accelerated medical degree at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Following graduation, he went on to complete both his Anesthesiology and Pain Management fellowship training at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania. Upon conclusion, Dr. Zuckerman was invited to join the faculty at U. Penn as both an Anesthesiology and Pain Management instructor.

By 1996, he returned to NYC to become the Director of Pain Management Services at the prominent Englewood Hospital in Bergen County, New Jersey. In 1998, Dr. Zuckerman recognized a growing need for outpatient pain management services and seized an opportunity to join two like-minded entrepreneurial colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania (Drs. Marc Loev and Bobby Dey) to co-found The Spine Center (TSC) in Rockville, MD.

From 1998 through 2011, Dr. Zuckerman cultivated a successful outpatient interventional pain practice and his peers in Washingtonian Magazine ultimately recognized his expertise in the well-respected Top Doctor’s edition. His leadership at TSC was instrumental in expanding its multiple centers throughout the state of Maryland. Dr. Zuckerman was instrumental in expanding The Spine Center (TSC) from three physicians and one ambulatory surgery center to 16 physicians and 10 ambulatory surgery centers.

His professional interests includes management of the NSPC medical staff, expanding the scope of clinical service offerings, EMR implementation, the development and incorporation of patient outcomes measures, and spearheading R&D to promote further development of IPM services.