Feature Friday: President-Elect Ralph G. Menard, MD

Dr. Menard of Hill Country Memorial will step into the role of president as the Texas Pain Society (TPS) on October 29, 2022. Recently, he discussed how he started working in the pain medicine industry, as well as his goals for the organization. 

texas pain feature friday

I have always been interested in pain, even during medical school and residency and before pain fellowships were a thing. I did a rotation at Fort Gordon, the US Army hospital in Georgia, with an anesthesiologist who treated pain, which helped me pursue that path. After my residency, I went back on active duty in the US Navy, as they paid for my medical school. I was primarily stationed in Orlando and opened a small pain clinic in the hospital with the help of a couple other physicians, including one of our own Texas Pain Society physicians, Dr. Ashley Classen. 

I moved to Lubbock, Texas, after leaving the Navy, specifically because they had an opportunity open for a combined anesthesia and pain doctor. For most of my time in Lubbock, I was a solo practitioner and was affiliated with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). Fortunately, my association with TTUHSC was during a time when Dr. Prithvi Raj was still there. Both he and Dr. Gabor Racz provided indispensable professional and personal guidance. In fact, I was there when they brought up the idea of the Texas Pain Society and was one of the founding members, donating $1,000 to help get it started. There were probably only 20-30 or so of us attending those early pain conferences at TTU back then, and many of them were residents and fellows.

As to my goals as the new president of TPS, I would like to expand on what my predecessor, Dr. Maxim Eckmann, started by expanding our use of social media (Be sure to follow TPS on Twitter and LinkedIn!). I would like to see an expanded use of the TPS forum to include articles of best practices for members. I would also like to see more use of the TPS educational offerings, such as IPOC and the online modules that offer CME courses. Another thing I want to emphasize to members is how important it is to attend First Tuesdays, in order to get to know your legislators and talk to them on a personal basis. Pain medicine has some big problems looming this next year during the legislative session, and we need to start working on them now. As Dr. CM Schade, our leading expert on legislative affairs, says, "If you aren’t at the table, then you are on the menu.”

We are thrilled about Dr. Menard stepping into this position at our annual conference, happening October 28-30 in Round Rock. Be sure to register to attend, to follow along on social media for more updates, and to join TPS, a united voice for pain management.

Share this post: