Joel See, MD
Pain Medicine, The Spine Center
My father was an internist in a bygone era. He worked alone in the clinic and went to the hospital every morning to see patients and then spent the rest of the day in the clinic. It was a family business, and my mom was in the office doing everything from answering the phone to the billing. I also started working in the office myself for a few years before medical school and I am glad that I was able to see how things worked in the real world before getting overwhelmed with the science. The clinic was located in Waukegan, Illinois, and the patients were mostly working class, salt of the earth people, many coming in tired after working long hours or third shifts. My dad did his best to take care of them, to keep them in good health so they could keep working to support their families. As an internist he prescribed medications but also preached that patients have the primary responsibility for managing their health in the context of their wider lives.I started out in primary care but eventually my career took a different path, but I proudly still tend to treat people as if I were still working in a small clinic. I want to form relationships that are measured in years instead of visits. Even though I think my dad was a bit disappointed that I did not follow exactly in his footsteps. I think he would be proud that I am able to carry on his legacy. I don’t have all of the solutions but I still consider it a success to help people get through life a little more comfortably. I want to help people live their best active life, whether it be through different pain treatments, prescriptions for therapy or recommendations for weight loss. Often, inactivity is more to blame than age when people lose the ability to do things on their own. Lack of physical activity also can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses.
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I am interested in getting people more active and functional, ready to enjoy life or go back to work. I am reluctant to call people disabled and will work to help people get functionally better.
I am trying my best to be a good husband and father to my three boys. We enjoy travelling and escape rooms, fitness and exercise, and cooking together.