Dialogue Volume 14 Issue 1 2018 - Page 32

A unique perspective on pain and treatment N Dr. Jeff Ennis one of Dr. Jeff Ennis’ patients have ever turned to him and asked, “How would you know what it feels like?” They know that he well understands the extraordinary toll that pain can take. And that’s not just because he studied pain – he also lives with it every single day. Dr. Ennis is a psychiatrist, with a practice that also involves physical medicine and rehabilitation. His own pain experience and his desire to help other sufferers is what forms the basis of his multi-disciplinary pain program in Hamilton. He also lectures at medical conferences on chronic pain management across North American, England and Europe and has recently writ- ten a book on the topic. He is also a College assessor and, as such, has had 32 DIALOGUE ISSUE 1, 2018 the opportunity to speak directly to a number of phy- sicians about their care of patients who suffer pain. Recently, we spoke to Dr. Ennis about chronic pain and his unique perspective as a patient, physician, pain expert and College assessor. You suffer severe chronic pain and you have had a long struggle to find relief. Can you elaborate on your own experience? I have pain as a result of two uncommon diseases, resulting in 18 surgeries to date, and more to come. What I learned very early is that being impaired not only reduces your capacity to engage in normal life events, but you slowly become invisible, if you allow it. People stop asking you to do things. Expectations that you can help someone or go out and have a good Dr. Jeff Ennis has suffered excruciating pain for all of his adult life. He brings his insight and empathy to bear in caring for others who share that same torment.