Alliance Spine and Pain Centers provides life-changing pain relief. Our best-in-class physicians help our patients live fuller, more functional, and fulfilling lives.
We believe Alliance is truly the “future of pain relief” because of the excellence, expertise, and dedication of our staff. This series is intended to give our patients a glimpse into the lives of these exceptional people. Keep reading to learn about Alliance physician Dr. David Gale.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING FOR ALLIANCE SPINE AND PAIN CENTERS, AND WHAT LED YOU TO THIS LINE OF WORK?
20+ years. After medical school, I spent five years traveling the world in the US Air Force. I began my residency in anesthesiology afterwards. Pain medicine was in its infancy as a medical specialty during that time. Typically, it was taught through anesthesiology. Once I spent a few months learning some of the tricks, I was hooked. I then spent an additional 12 months in a specialized pain management fellowship at the University of Texas before moving to Georgia.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK IN THE FIELD OF PAIN MANAGEMENT?
When I first chose to specialize in pain management, it was a very underserved population. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the growth of this wonderful specialty.
WHAT ARE THE KEY CHALLENGES OF THIS FIELD OF MEDICINE?
Initially, back pain is simply treated with time, rest, and some basic therapy. Sounds simple, right? Our challenge is when people aren’t better after 6-8 weeks. We need to dig deep and find out which of the many structures are involved with their current pain issues.
WHAT’S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR JOB?
As physicians, we all go into this field with the idea of helping people. After 20 years, I know I cannot help everyone. For those I am able to help and for those who do get at least 50 percent of improvement in their existing pain, I share in some of their joy. My partner, Dr. Nok, and I truly understand how important it is to help someone who is recovering from pain after an injury or pain from our body’s natural aging process. As today’s population is living longer, it is important to treat our patients’ pain to allow them to maintain their independence. We help them be more productive at home and provide for their families.
In addition, most doctors don’t fully understand the details involved in back pain. However, we specialize in this issue and can offer solutions for the vast majority of the patients we see.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY ROUTINE LOOK LIKE?
I spend half of my day seeing new patients and follow up visits. The other half of my day I perform highly specialized injection procedures in our Ambulatory Surgery Center in order to treat my patient’s pain problems.
WHAT ARE SOME MOMENTS THAT HAVE STOOD OUT FROM YOUR WORK?
I love when happy patients share some of their homegrown tomatoes or bring in a German chocolate cake!
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST PROFESSIONAL AND/OR PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT?
I flew over 200 missions with high-performance aircraft (mainly F-16’s) during my time as a US Air Force flight surgeon. While most of it was during peacetime, the values that were instilled will continue to be carried with me for the rest of my life.
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU LEARNED YOU WERE CONSIDERED ONE OF CASTLE CONNOLLY’S TOP DOCTORS AND WAS GOING TO BE RECOGNIZED IN ATLANTA MAGAZINE’S JULY ISSUE?
Honestly, I blushed at first. Knowing that this honor came from votes from my fellow physicians is very special to me.
IF YOU WERE NOT IN YOUR LINE OF WORK, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO?
My undergraduate degree at Purdue University was biomedical engineering. During my senior year, I was involved in some very basic, early research that ultimately has grown into implantable cardiac defibrillator units (AICD) that many patients walk around with today. So most likely, it would be in that field. I really wanted to be a center fielder for the Braves. However, I was not fast enough and could not hit a curveball for the life of me.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
Never let someone else be the judge of your own self-worth.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PAST-TIMES?
I spent 13 years in the US Air Force. Therefore, I thoroughly enjoy reading any Military history or “Black Ops” novels. I also love to cook steaks on the grill and follow my Falcons—Rise Up!!
If you or a loved one are having issues with pain management, the experts at Alliance Spine and Pain are here to help you get back to what you love. Give us a call at 770-929-9033 or click here to schedule an appointment.