Adrian C. Dumitru, M.D.
Pain and Health Management
Adrian C. Dumitru, M.D., began his 27-year journey toward mastering the complexities of pain management by becoming an anesthesiologist. In pain management, a field where everyone from family therapists to general practitioners often participate, Dr. Dumitru saw the need for a physician with his particular expertise to oversee a multi-disciplinary approach. Anesthesiology, after all, is one of the ultimate forms of pain management.
Today, a recognized expert in this relatively new field, Dr. Dumitru sums up his philosophy of practice as follows: “My patient comes first; everything evolves from that.”
Dr. Dumitru takes particular pride in personally attending each patient, learning firsthand their lifestyles, aspirations and needs.
“I see all patients myself,” he stresses. “Not a physician’s assistant (PA), not a nurse practitioner (NP) — me. It’s how I feel about my practice, about one-on-one care. I take my time and make the individual patient an intricate part of his or her own treatment process.”
Sometimes a patient’s relationship with Dr. Dumitru is short-term; for instance, in the case of an acute sports injury or other accident where the pain simply requires management during a finite healing process. Chronic pain, on the other hand, with a complex and/or intractable underlying condition requires ongoing maintenance.
“That is not something that can be put on cruise control,” he explains. “It’s why I try to build a long-term relationship through direct access to me — not an assembly line of PAs and NPs. Every patient is different and I have to get to know them personally if I am to accurately diagnose their underlying condition or conditions. It’s a very intricate process to separate different factors that may be pain generators.”
Accordingly, in Dr. Dumitru’s practice, patients are “treated as a whole.” Careful consideration is given to a someone’s personal threshold of pain, their emotional state, their cultural differences.
“Not all pain is the same. We hurt in different ways and at different intensities,” he continues. “Patients who have an underlying condition like depression or anxiety cannot handle pain like those who don’t. I like to educate the patient on the options available and accommodate their preferences.
“Sometimes even getting the family involved is important. Sometimes a patient feels isolated because his or her spouse and loved ones don’t really understand what’s happening. Until you experience pain firsthand, you just don’t know. It’s an educational process for everyone.”
Rarely is treatment as simple as giving someone a prescription for pain pills and Dr. Dumitru is wary of anyone who thinks such medications are cures, like antibiotics. Instead, he considers every possible underlying factor, keeping an open mind about most therapeutic approaches.
“There are patients who are interested in conservative treatments such as acupuncture, yoga and meditation,” he allows. “I treat each unique case according to a patient’s beliefs and customize a plan for treatment. Lately I’ve become intrigued by regenerative medicine and cures of a less invasive nature — using the body’s own ability to heal, including Stem Cell Therapy, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Human Allograft Tissue Treatments.”
Dr. Dumitru also involves other professionals and support groups when needed.
He acknowledges, “There’s a stigma with pain, so I stress confidentiality, but support from those who’ve shared similar experiences can matter a lot. Overall, I encourage a patient to rely on their own perspective and on the objective information available. Then we make decisions together, privately, and involve others as much as desired or not desired by the patient.”
Almost every day Dr. Dumitru meets someone who walks into his office and asks, “Can you fix this?” He assures, “I can make them better. It may not be immediate and some chronic pain cannot be completely cured. But I can certainly try to improve their quality of life.”
Board Certified in Pain Management
Fellowship in Pain Management, Baylor College of Medicine
Residency in Anesthesiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Class of 1997
Internship, Baylor College of Medicine
Medical Degree at University of Medicine and Pharmacy Carol Davila, Bucharest, Romania, 1988