Pain Management Specialist in St. Augustine, FL
Helpful Hints to Enhance Your Experience at McGreevy NeuroHealth
We run a very busy practice with many opportunities for diagnostic clarity and therapeutic recovery. Dr. McGreevy is a board-certified pain management specialist in St. Augustine, FL. Please keep in mind the following:
- Dr. McGreevy has compassion for you and your situation, regardless of who you are or what your situation may be. He enjoys taking care of you. Please allow him to help you.
- Dr. McGreevy is NOT JUST A PAIN DOCTOR. While he is extremely well-qualified and subspecialty-board certified in Pain Medicine, he utilizes his primary training in Neurology to assure diagnostic precision (to the extent possible) prior to treatment. Diagnostic testing will also be performed as needed when clinically indicated to follow the course of your condition and response to treatment. This is the science of medicine at work.
- Dr. McGreevy is NOT JUST A NEUROLOGIST. The physician is double-board-certified and practices both specialties of Neurology and Pain Medicine. While he carries board-certification in the field of Adult Neurology, he does not stop at diagnosis. This is what makes your physician unique. There are a host of treatment possibilities that he provides, particularly in the field of Pain Medicine, unlike most neurologists. This is the art of medicine at work.
- Dr. McGreevy is NOT A PSYCHIATRIST. This may be confusing. To clarify, he is credentialed as a Neurologist and Pain Specialist by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). This is a unique national board that combines training in both fields of Psychiatry and Neurology. What this means to you is that your physician will not treat depression, bipolar, anxiety, schizophrenia, or psychotic disorders, BUT HE WILL screen for some psychological conditions that are relevant to neurological and pain disorders (i.e., depression, sleep disorders, etc.) and refer you to the appropriate specialist when advised.
- Dr. McGreevy is NOT A NEUROSURGEON. He does not perform surgery. He does perform non-surgical interventional treatments when warranted. He also knows when a referral to a Neurosurgeon is appropriate.
- Dr. McGreevy delivers Comprehensive Care: How well do your doctors really know you and your body? Do they remember you and understand your body, systems, and psyche? You may ask: Dr. McGreevy is a subspecialist. Why does he care about my breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, blood vessels, eye movements, and balance. I have primary care and other doctors for all that?
Dr. McGreevy is indeed a specialist. And he very much respects his colleagues’ expertise and will communicate findings with your doctors. If you already have a specialist for an ongoing/preexisting condition, he will defer management to your doctor. However, Dr. McGreevy is still a physician at the end of the day. That means he does what he was trained to do, be a doctor. He will take charge of your health. He will listen to your heart, lungs, carotids, and abdomen. He will examine your brain, spine, and nerves. He has diagnosed life-threatening conditions such as abdominal aortic aneurysms and carotid blockages, and initiated appropriate treatment before their silent symptoms lead to stroke or sudden death. If nobody looks, you won’t know.
Dr. McGreevy is unique. He strives to know everything about your body and health because IT IS ALL RELEVANT. Let's put this in perspective. Pain affects all parts of your body: the immune system (inflammation, chemicals), cardiovascular system (heart, blood vessels), pulmonary system (lungs, bronchi, breathing capacity), endocrine system (hormones, glands, glucose, diabetes, weight gain), musculoskeletal system (joints, spine, muscular imbalances), and neurological system (brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and autonomic nervous system, sleep cycles). Likewise, Medication affects all parts of your body: your digestive system (esophagus, stomach, intestine), hepatic system (liver metabolism), renal system (kidneys and clearance), cardiovascular system (heart rate/rhythm, heart disease), pulmonary system (breathing capacity), musculoskeletal system (bone health), endocrine system (testosterone, weight gain, weight loss, diminished stress response, reduced drive), and neurological system (brain, spinal cord, sleep cycles and autonomic nervous system).
With each visit and each test, he is always learning more about you. That is everything from the structures/machinery inside your body to the mind, mood, and sleep. It is his philosophy that understanding the entire picture provides better patient care. This is what he learned at Johns Hopkins. Allow him to help you.
At McGreevy NeuroHealth, we thrive on being thorough and giving you the best we can. We want to maintain a positive environment. We look for ways to help you. We empower you to be an advocate of and take responsibility for your own health.
- Lengthy Visits: Please understand that visits may be lengthy in part because each patient undergoes comprehensive care with expertise from multiple specialties. While we strive to accommodate your needs in a timely fashion, sometimes there may be unavoidable delays. Our providers put everything they have into each patient’s case. During this time, you may want to take advantage of the multiple educational resources we have to help boost your knowledge of Neurology and Pain Medicine. Knowledge is Power. Power is Control. Having Control allows you to take charge of your neurological health. Should the wait become exceedingly long, please kindly ask our receptionist for further updates and guidance. At McGreevy NeuroHealth, we do respect your time and we sincerely want to have the opportunity to give you all that we have.
- Testing: This practice has many resources to enhance diagnostic clarity and overall understanding of your body. You will undergo testing as requested by your physician.
- Educational Resources: Please consider the following resources for patient education:
- Website (navigate to Patient Education)
- Pamphlets at check-out
- Educational Center in the Lobby (TV and brochures)
- Florida Healthcare News (your physician is highlighted with an article each quarter)
- Educational Center in the Patient Rooms (this includes interactive kiosks/videos/educational material). Please respect the equipment.
- Attire: Bring warm clothes. Certain rooms can run chilly. This is necessary to keep the procedure rooms sterile. Please wear loose-fitting clothes and socks to keep your feet warm.
- Authorizations: Please understand that we are compliant with insurance companies’ timeframe for procedure authorizations. We do our best to vouch for you as we want you to receive diagnosis and treatment as efficiently as possible. It is always best to be prepared for delays should they occur, as you maintain control knowing your expectations. In this instance, feel free to ask your McGreevy NeuroHealth provider at providing temporary solutions for comfort until we receive approvals from insurance.
- Billing Questions: Any questions about Billing may be best handled by our billing office, not our physical office. Our staff can provide pertinent contact information at your convenience.
- Phone System: The following includes some advice that may make communication with our office easier. Please understand that if you call our main line, and if you don't leave a voicemail on a specific line, we may not receive the message. Communication lines have glitches everywhere and trust us, we are not happy when it happens. We are constantly working with a large IT firm to troubleshoot, prevent, and maintain communications with our patients. When you leave a voicemail, please jot down the name of the person you left the voicemail with. Do your best to limit the calls to urgent matters, so as to not flood our phone lines. If you do not hear from us within 24 business hours of your call and really need something done urgently, you may email us at email@example.com, or you may come to the office and kindly speak to our front desk manager. It is POSSIBLE we may be able to fit you into our schedule as an add-on patient if it does not interfere with the time required for other patients as well. We treat every patient with the same level of respect and compassion.
- Increased Pain: Pain will often increase and decrease, naturally, over time. While we are not necessarily equipped to handle emergency situations on the phone, we can direct you accordingly. If you are to develop “foot-drop” (dragging the foot while attempting to walk), severe weakness in an extremity, sudden onset of weakness or numbness on one side of the body, loss of control of bowel or bladder, or a numb patch where you “wipe,” or if you are experiencing a doubling of your pain level for over 24 hours, consider calling 911 or going to the Emergency Room. The same holds true for uncharacteristic headache, vision change, nausea/vomiting, and sedation (drowsiness).
Otherwise, please call the office to make an appointment for the physician to reassess. Often times, severe muscle spasms or migraine variants may get the best of you, and it may feel like something serious is happening. The best thing to do is to be examined by a health professional. We may then decide on additional testing, and in some circumstances, he may provide targeted treatments such as injections if you make an appointment. If your McGreevy NeuroHealth provider finds something wrong, he or she may order imaging, testing, do a procedure, or refer you to another specialist.
- We are not an Emergency Room or Urgent Care: If you feel that it is a true emergency, call 911, or go to an acute care facility.
- Please be succinct with your complaints on the phone: Be short, concise, and to the point. We will do our best to accommodate you in the clinic as an add-on if necessary. In this instance, please expect a possible delay in the lobby until we can accommodate your needs. Other patients who already have appointments are just as important.
- Opioid Risk Management: You know that when you take a controlled pain medication, there is a risk of balance disorders, falls, sedation (drowsiness), altered consciousness, respiratory suppression (breathing problems) and death. That is the reality. We do not force you to take any medications. Should you choose to take such medications, we use risk profiles to evaluate your risks through questionnaires and in some instances, diagnostic testing. We do this because it is the right thing to do, but also because the federal government, state agencies, and local agencies strongly recommend it.
- Early Medication Refills, Lost/Stolen Medications, and Multiple Prescriptions: These are intolerable. Your physician has provided the quantity and dose of medication as seen fit under his clinical expertise. There are valid reasons for limitations in pain medication quantities. Please respect your opioid contract.
The same goes for obtaining pain medications from any other physician or provider. If you are requiring more pain medications or withdraw when off pain medication, you may need to seek help with a dependency specialist. We can provide a referral as needed. We can also offer non-narcotic pain treatments, including injections when appropriate. Lastly, if you lose a script or its “stolen,” or “flushed down the toilet,” that is your responsibility (from the moment you receive the script). It is not our property at that time.
- Urine Drug Testing: This is necessary for opioid risk profiling (Questionnaires and UDS are performed before treatment with pain medication or controlled medications). Always be prepared to undergo UDS at any time, and have a full bladder when you arrive at each of your appointments. Check with the front desk if we plan on checking your UDS for that particular visit. We may. We may not.
- THC/Marijuana: If you are positive for any illicit drug, including THC (marijuana metabolite), you may be discharged immediately from the practice.
- Medical Marijuana: Currently, there are no guidelines with regard to medical marijuana for most neurological and pain conditions. The level of evidence required to allow your physician to comment is lacking until further evidence-based studies prove efficacy. Therefore, do not ask him about medical marijuana. Also, the physician won’t prescribe opioids/narcotic medications for you if you are taking medical marijuana.
Expansion and Change: McGreevy NeuroHealth is always undergoing expansion. This is one of the qualities of the practice that will never change. Along with this, expect to see changes in testing, treatments, patient flow, policies, and personnel. We will do our best to keep you abreast of changes. Change is necessary.
We feel that if you are better equipped on what to expect, you will have a more pleasurable experience by allowing us to deliver advanced neurological healthcare. Thank you for your attention and the opportunity to help you.
Yours in health,
Kai McGreevy, MD
Contact us today to clarify any concerns you may have about treatment with a pain management specialist. We proudly serve patients in St. Augustine and Jacksonville, Florida and surrounding communities within a 50-mile radius.