Joshua Prager (doctor)
Joshua Philip Prager MD MS is an American physician. Dr. Prager specializes in pain medicine. He is a past president of the North American Neuromodulation Society. and serves as Senior Advisor to the Executive Board of the society. He is Chair of the Pain and the Sympathetic Nervous system (PSNS) Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Group of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). He serves on the Board of Directors of the International Neuromodulation Society (INS). He was founder and is the immediate-past-chair of the Neuromodulation Therapy Access Coalition (NTAC), a coalition of national and international physician organizations and other stakeholders dedicated to insuring patient access to neuromodulation.
Life and research
After undergraduate and graduate studies in Stony Brook University, and Harvard where he served as the President of the Harvard Graduate Student Council, Dr. Prager graduated from Stanford University with M.D. as well as M.S. in Management/Health Services Research in 1981. He completed training in internal medicine at UCLA before completing training in anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) at Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine. He has served on the full-time faculty at MGH at Harvard Medical School and at UCLA School of Medicine where he served as Director of the UCLA Pain Medicine Center. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine.
Dr. Prager has authored numerous scientific publications and book chapters in pain management, especially on complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), intrathecal pumps, and spinal cord stimulators. He directs a comprehensive interdisciplinary rehabilitation program for treatment of CRPS, integrating physical therapy, behavioral treatment, neuromodulation, ketamine infusions, and occasionally hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Dr. Prager is the current director of California Pain Medicine Center and Center for Rehabilitation of Pain Syndromes at UCLA and is also the Editor of the California Society of Anesthesiologists Pain and End-of-Life CME Program.
Current and recent public service
Dr. Prager recently completed six years of service on on the Medical Evidence Evaluation Advisory Committee (MEEAC), a group appointed by the Governor of California to develop treatment guidelines for medical care of the injured worker. He is a Medical Expert for the Medical Board of California, the California Attorney General and the District Attorney of the County of Los Angeles. He has advised Medicare on the local level as reimbursement expert and as a member of the Clinical Advisory Committee (CAC) and currently holds an appointment on the national level on the Clinical Advisory Committee.
Public service has been an important aspect of Dr. Prager's career. He helped establish or reorganize several inner-city health centers, provided internal medicine care at Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, and provided anesthesia for children in the developing world who need corrective surgeries for congenital anomalies. He has held numerous positions with other medical organizations. Most recently, he organized the first meeting of a coalition of pain organizations and all three manufacturers of spinal cord stimulator systems to collaborate on issues of patient access and reimbursement for neuromodulatory procedures
In popular media
Dr. Prager has been interviewed extensively in lay media for expertise in pain medicine. This includes extended interviews in the National Public Radio as well as ABC News, Nightline, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, Lifestyle Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, USA today, Dateline NBC, the National Geographic Television, and The Doctors.
Awards and Distinctions
- Bounty of Hope Award, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Society of America (RSDSA) for Patient Care and contributions to the RSD community.
- California Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA), for contributions to the education of anesthesiologists.
- Decade of Pain Lecture, American Academy of Pain Medicine.
- Texas Pain Society, Samuel Hassenbusch Lecture.
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Presented at the 16th Annual Meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society (2012)
- Prager is an award winning amateur blues harmonica player who goes by the name of Dr. Lester “Les” Payne. He often sits in with James Goven and the Boogie Blues band at the Rum Boogie Cafe on Beale Street in Memphis, as well as with Jimmy Burns at multiple blues venues in Chicago.
- During his undergraduate years at Stony Brook he ran and/or MC'ed popular concerts for their Student Activities Board including Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Dizzy Gillespie, Joni Mitchell among many others.
- First person to perform a spinal cord stimulator trial in the People's Republic of China
- Placed second in his age group at the inaugural Palisades Reverse Sprint Triathlon, 2011.
For many years Dr Prager ended every lecture with his credo, "No one should ever wish for death because of the unwillingness of a health care provider or third party payer to provide the most appropriate medication delivered by the optimal route to provide pain relief without untoward side-effects"
- Prager JP (2010). "What does the mechanism of spinal cord stimulation tell us about complex regional pain syndrome". Pain Med 11 (8): 1278–1283. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4637.2010.00915.x. PMID 20704677.
- Prager JPP, Aprill C (2008). "Complications Related to Sedation and Anesthesia for Interventional Pain Therapies". Pain Med 9 (S!): S121–S127. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4637.2008.00448.x.
- Prager JP (2002). "Neuraxial Medication Delivery: The Development and Maturity of a Concept for Treating Chronic Pain of Spinal Origin". Spine 27 (22): 2593–2605. doi:10.1097/00007632-200211150-00037. PMID 12435999.
- Oakley JC, Prager JP (2002). "Spinal cord stimulation: mechanisms of action". Spine 27 (22): 2574–83. doi:10.1097/00007632-200211150-00034. PMID 12435996.
- Prager JP, Jacobs M (2001). "Evaluation of Patients for Implantable Pain Modalities: Medical and Behavioral Assessment". Clin J Pain 17 (3): 206–214. doi:10.1097/00002508-200109000-00004. PMID 11587110.
- Prager JP (1996). "Invasive modalities for the diagnosis and treatment of pain in the elderly". Clin Geriatr Med 12 (3): 549–61. PMID 8853945.
- Prager JP, DeSalles A, Wilkinson A, Jacobs M, Csete M (1995). "Loin pain hematuria syndrome: pain relief with intrathecal morphine". Am J Kidney Dis 25 (4): 629–31. doi:10.1016/0272-6386(95)90135-3. PMID 7702062.
- Prager, Joshua P. Binney St. Bridge: A study exploring the implications of a bridge connecting Longwood area Harvard teaching hospitals. Beth Israel Hospital Association (1977). ASIN B0006YNXPE