Podcast Personal Well-Being

Understanding Pain: The Direct and Indirect Impact of Persistent Pain

From toothaches to surgeries, pain is elemental to our human experience. But discomfort often presents itself in a variety of ways and can be detrimental to our quality of life—often in ways you might not think about.

To help us unpack this painful topic, we brought in Dr. Mihir Kamdar. Dr. Kamdar is the Associate Director of the Division of Palliative Care and the Director of the Cancer Pain Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital. Not only is he a prominent figure in the medical field, but he is also an instructor at Harvard Medical School.  

While pain is probably one of the first things that humans tried to apply medicine to thousands of years ago, it is a relatively young field in modern health care. Dr. Kamdar walks us through the different kinds of pain, the link between pain, memory and emotions, and how pain should be treated.

Topics Include

  • The beginning of pain in modern medicine 
  • A definition of acute vs chronic pain 
  • Why pain differs between patients 
  • The important link between pain and emotions such as anxiety 
  • How the digital era can change the way physicians treat pain 
  • Why opioids aren’t a silver bullet for pain treatment 


About Our Guest

Dr. Mihir Kamdar graduated from the Emory University School of Medicine, then completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. From there, Dr. Kamdar completed a fellowship with Harvard Palliative Medicine and a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Anesthesia Pain Medicine fellowship. Following these experiences, Dr. Kamdar became a Staff Attending, Palliative Care and Anesthesia Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) where he is now an Associate Director, Palliative Care Division, Department of Medicine, and Director of Cancer Pain Clinic and Attending, Palliative Care and Anesthesia Pain Medicine at MGH. In addition, Dr. Kamdar is an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  

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