Meet Dr. J. Hardy Gordon
Dr. Gordon is a board-certified anesthesiologist and board certified in pain medicine. After receiving his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Gordon completed his residency training in anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, where he served as chief resident. He then pursued fellowship training in pain management at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Dr. Gordon frequently presents lectures on the field of pain management.
We had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Gordon and discuss the way he helps patients get back to doing the things they love.
Dr. Gordon, you completed a lot of training in anesthesiology throughout your education. What made you want to enter the field of pain management?
Dr. Gordon: Originally, I thought I wanted to be an anesthesiologist, but when I did my rotations in pain medicine during my residency, I really enjoyed interacting with the patients and doing the procedures. I’m more hands on, and I really enjoy the procedure aspect in pain management. That’s when I decided to switch to pain management and then pursed my fellowship in it as well.
Since you enjoy being hands-on and having interaction with your patients, how does that translate into the way you work with your patients on a daily basis?
Dr. Gordon: I like to give a lot of autonomy to our patients. They are a part of the team, need to be involved. I like to educate patients and allow them to make informed decisions.
I want them to feel as though they are an integral part of the team.
That’s great! With all these emerging treatment options and interventional pain techniques, are there any treatments or new technology that you are excited to share with your patients that could transform the way you help reduce their pain?
Dr. Gordon: As we move forward in the field of pain management, we have to look forward to other alternatives than strictly opioids. I think regenerative medicine is exciting because you are using your own body’s cells in hopes to regenerate or regrow joint spaces.
Kyphoplasty is a procedure we do for compression fractures, and it is one of my favorite procedures because it’s one where patients get immediate relief. Seeing the patients get off the table and stand up and move around is a great thing to see.
Spinal cord stimulation is something that we offer patients that have had previous surgeries or if they are not a candidate for surgery and were able to go in and provide them some relief. They think they are at the end of the road with nothing else to offer, but with this specific procedure we can hopefully help change that. It is very rewarding for me and also the patients.
It sounds as if there are a lot of opportunities for your patients to explore. How do these other treatments affect the way you approach medication management as a part of treatment plans?
Dr. Gordon: My approach is using multiple modalities. I try to approach the pain from different avenues that way we don’t get pigeon-holed into using just one. Often times in the past, people just used pain medicine and the danger in that is you are increasing the amount of opioids and now with the opioid epidemic and the concern for addiction to opioids, we look for other ways. This is not anything new to me; this is the way I’ve been practicing for the last thirteen years. We utilize, procedures, physical therapy, non-opioid medications such as anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxers. I do think there are some situations where opioids are appropriate, but I do believe a specialist needs to be involved with that.
The level of caring and compassion toward your patients and their treatments is unparalleled. What are some things you like to do outside of work, that your patients might like to know?
Dr. Gordon: I love golf, and I follow college football. I am partial to the University of Georgia; I support LSU, but anytime those two schools play, I’m rooting for Georgia!
Thank you so much for your time, Dr. Gordon!
A Deeper Dive with Dr. J. Hardy Gordon
- Bachelors of Science: University of Georgia
- MD Degree: Medical College of Georgia in Augusta
- Anesthesiology residency: Medical University of South Carolina
- Pain Management Fellowship: University of Alabama
- Board Certified in Pain Medicine/Interventional Pain Medicine
- Board Certified in Anesthesia
- Member of American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians