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Living Breathing Medicine Podcast – Managing Pain with Dr. Suneetha Budampati

Dr. Suneetha Budampati recently joined Drs. Cecily Havert and Natasha Beauvais from Northern Virginia Family Practice on the Living Breathing Medicine Podcast. a primary care doctor who specializes in pain management. In the Managing Pain episode, Dr. Budampati shares her philosophies for getting patients invested in their own long-term health goals. Additionally, she tells the story of one of her most memorable patients, who taught her about treating the whole person, instead of just a condition.

Highlights of this episode:

  • 0:41 – Dr. Natasha Beauvais introduces Dr. Suneetha Budampati, a pain management specialist currently practicing at the National Spine and Pain centers in Arlington, VA.
  • 1:41 – 1:50 – Dr. Cecily Havert asks Dr. Budampati to share a little more about herself and what she enjoys most about her practice.
  • 1:50 – 6:14 – Dr. Budampati provides a brief introduction, referring to herself as a “primary care provider for pain management patients.” She then tells the story about a particular patient she remembers treating during her residency, who ended up joining her practice 10 years later.
  • 6:20 – Dr. Havert asks – “After not seeing this patient for over 10 years, how did you start off the next chapter of this relationship?”
  • 6:23 – 9:00 – Dr. Budampati explains that because she knew this patient’s entire story from previous visits, the patient was more willing to take her advice and listen to her professional opinion.
  • 9:03 – 9:40 – Dr. Havert asks – Do you have other patients that you’re able to do that with? Is that something you strive to do within your practice?
  • 9:43 – 10:43 – “It’s not uncommon for me to see people in their 40’s-50’s who bring in their parents to see me. These patient-based connections are a huge part of my practice.”
  • 10:45 – 14:12 – “Pain is universal, but suffering is optional.”
  • 14:15 – 15:16 – Dr. Beauvais discusses the importance of collaborating with the patient and specialists when dealing with pain management needs. “It’s not just what will you give me doc – rather it’s what did you all decide together?”
  • 15:20 – 18:00 – Finding a patient’s “language” is essential when providing care. How does the patient receive information? How can I connect their favorite activity to their condition, so they can continue to pursue the activity for as long as possible?
  • 18:18 – Dr. Beauvais asks – “Over the course of your career, how has your experience shaped your conversations with patients?”
  • 19:20 – 24:17 – “The toughest conversations I have with my patients are truly about exercise, weight management, posture, and core strength. It’s easy to convince patients in pain that they need an epidural steroid injection. But telling them that they won’t receive anymore injection procedures and that they need to focus on their exercise and posture is difficult.”
  • 24:56 – 26:29 – The providers acknowledge the importance of asking patients for permission to discuss certain health topics.
  • 26:33 – 28:37 – What happens when you see patients for chronic pain but rather than being inactive, they’re too active?
  • 28:40 – 31:52 – The providers discuss the psychological effects of pain, and how why taking care of your mental health is just as vital to your physical health.
  • 32:00 – 33:14 – Dr. Beauvais thanks Dr. Budampati for her time and for such an insightful conversation. She also shares where to find additional resources, as well as where to find all episodes of Living Breathing Medicine Podcast.

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