As a physician, Teresa Ojode, M.D. knows her job presents the opportunity to use her skills and talents to help patients thereby creating a greater purpose beyond herself.
With expertise in Neuromodulation techniques like Spinal Cord and Dorsal Root Stimulations to help with conditions like Neuropathic Pain and Post-Laminectomy Syndrome, Dr. Ojode joined the National Spine and Pain Centers in fall 2019. She previously worked as a staff anesthesiologist at the University of Florida Anesthesiology Department.
The Gainesville facility was also the site of her fellowship in pain medicine and residency in anesthesiology. Dr. Ojode was drawn to the fields because of the cognitive and technical demands which keep her engaged in work on multiple dimensions. “The specific allure of pain medicine is the challenge of complex problems unique to this field of medicine,” she said. “Additionally, pain medicine is an exciting field at this time in which novel therapies are emerging with ample opportunities for creative problem solving that makes for a meaningful impact to patients and a rewarding work experience.”
She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology/Neurobiology from the University of Texas.
There are many exciting new technologies and treatments in the field of pain management. Dr. Ojode notes endoscopic spine procedures enable decompression of the lumbar spine under direct visualization using a minimally invasive approach. “This is achieved in the ambulatory setting,” she said. “Often patients experience immediate relief and (the procedure) can be repeated if necessary and does not preclude future surgeries should they be necessary. It is very rewarding for both the patient and physician.”
Neuromodulation has been used since the 1970s but Dr. Ojode observes the continuing research and advancements in the technology have expanded the potential therapeutic benefit beyond lower back pain to include previously difficult to treat pain syndromes such as pelvic and abdominal pain and headaches.
Dr. Ojode approaches medication management and all therapy, in general, by maximizing therapeutic benefits while minimizing risk to achieve maximal improvement to quality of life. Chronic opioid therapy is only used for a small number of conditions. “I employ a multi-modal approach to medication management and may even seek to augment medication effects with integrative therapies,” she said.
Her philosophy on patient-centered care is simple — the patient is the ultimate boss. “My role is to present them with potential treatment options, risks and benefits, to help them determine which would be the most beneficial for them and their context, then provide them with this service,” she said.
In her time outside the office, Dr. Ojode enjoys enriching and valuing the relationships she has with family and friends.
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