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Q&A: Darren Schuhmacher, MD, MS

Darren Schuhmacher, MD, MS, earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center – San Antonio. He completed his internship and residency in anesthesiology at Scott & White hospital in Temple, Texas before pursuing his fellowship in pain management at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. He also holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio. He is board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine. He has been practicing pain medicine for more than 20 years.

Q: What drew you to the field of pain management and/or anesthesiology?

A: My father and grandfather were both anesthesiologists, so I grew up listening to their stories about anesthesia. Once I was able to do a rotation in medical school, I knew it was what I wanted to do for my career, too.

Q: Are there any specific treatments, technologies or diagnostic specialties that you are particularly excited about?

A: For patients with the appropriate diagnosis, I like the option of spinal cord stimulation to provide relief without the use of oral medications that can lead to tolerance and/or unwanted side effects. Continued research indicates stem cells have a lot of promise for pain relief as well.

Q: What gets you excited about working with NSPC?

A:NSPC is a great organization with an outstanding reputation for high-quality care.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about your job? What drives you to do it?

A: I find it very satisfying to help patients get their pain under control so they can improve their quality of life.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time (hobbies, interests, etc.)

A: I enjoy fishing and hiking.

Q: What would you do for a living if you weren’t a doctor?

A:My back up plan was underwater archaeology. I used to love scuba diving and wanted to find a job where I could be in the water.

Q: What is your philosophy about doctor-patient interaction and patient-centered care?

A:I try to educate every patient about treatment options available to them and what is most likely to give them pain relief with the least invasive therapy. I treat patients the way I would want my family members to be treated.

Dr. Schuhmacher treats chronic and acute pain related to these and other conditions:

  • Cervicogenic Headaches
  • Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Discogenic Back Pain
  • Facet Syndrome
  • Herniated Disc
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post-Laminectomy Syndrome
  • SI Joint Dysfunction
  • Spinal Stenosis

Some of the treatments and procedures Dr. Schuhmacher performs include:

  • Epidural Injections
  • Facet Joint Injections
  • Joint Injections
  • Medial Branch Blocks
  • Occipital Nerve Blocks
  • Radiofrequency Neurotomy
  • SI Joint Injections
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation
  • Steroid Injections
  • Trigger Point Injections

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