‘I Love What I Do, and I Do It Well’


Not all needles are painful if you know how to use them, according to Dr. Tim Chowdhury.

Exuding a professional and collective demeanor that signifies nearly three decades of lifesaving care in the Rio Grande Valley, the doctor is sharp of wit, and ever eager to talk about the things he says matter most in life.

It all comes down to family and giving patients a renewed will to live.  Above all, the intent has always been to serve the community by being an affordable, caring, and compassionate healthcare giver, according to Dr. Chowdhury.

“I have a gift for turning my patient’s pain into comfort,” Dr. Chowdhury says.  “They don’t have to deal with pain on their own and suffer.  It is important that people see us for help to fight through it.”

As a mentor, former professor, professional, and trusted healthcare provider for thousands of patients, Dr. Chowdhury reflects on his personal mission to be the one patients turn to when they are most in need.

As an example, Dr. Chowdhury recalls a depressed prostate cancer patient who was wheelchair bound and was given a poor prognosis.  Together, they decided to move forward with cutting-edge technology to deal with his pain.  The treatment gave the patient some peace while spending time with his family during his final days.

“His quality of life had increased greatly, and he was able to spend time with his family and grandchildren.  You can imagine that being a part of that is a really wonderful feeling,” Dr. Chowdhury says.

Trained at Boston University and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Chowdhury is also a former professor at Boston University, where he taught for a year before moving to Dallas.  As a trained anesthesiologist, Dr. Chowdhury arrived in the Valley in the early 1990s, and he ran the anesthesia department at Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco for years before establishing his full-time pain management practice in McAllen, and finally in Edinburg.

Dr. Chowdhury brings nearly 30 years of experience in the sub-specialty of comprehensive and interventional pain management.  As a result, CFPM has emerged as not only the oldest pain management practice in the Valley, but the largest and most innovative, Dr. Chowdhury said.

His practice features cutting-edge treatment capabilities and a world-class team of doctors and staff.  CFPM specializes in treating patients suffering from pain after surgery, with low back pain, persistent headaches, shingles, cancer, diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, brain injury, spasticity due to stroke, and accidents or work related injuries.

Every year, millions suffer from acute or chronic pain and feel forced to shoulder the emotional and financial burden it places on patients and their families.  A consensus report by the Institute of Medicine in June 2011 has found that more than 100 million adults in the U.S. are affected by chronic pain, more than the total of those affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined.

About one-third of those people who report pain indicate that it is “disabling,” which is defined as both severe and having a high impact on functions of daily life.

The effects of staggering numbers of pain sufferers in our country exact a steep cost as well.  The costs of unrelieved pain can result in longer hospital stays, increased rates of rehospitalization, increased outpatient visits, and decreased ability to function fully, all leading to lost income and insurance coverage.

Pain costs the nation more than $635 billion annually, and federal and state governments shelled out $99 billion on pain-related medical expenses, according to IOM.

In the Rio Grande Valley, high instances of diabetic neuropathy and especially obesity stood out to Dr. Chowdhury as he determined the location of his practice.  Dr. Chowdhury also considered the many Winter Texans seeking refuge from the cold who were in need of assistance to manage their pain.

The doctor is one of a few who perform Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (MILD) for the treatment of spinal stenosis.  The outpatient procedure is often a step that allows the patient to avoid major back surgery.

Similar interventional pain management techniques may also reduce the need for medication by as much as 99 percent, yet still provide much needed relief for patients.

“Not all needles are painful if you know how to use them,” Dr. Chowdhury says.   “Patients who have feared needles in the past do not fear them with me.  I love what I do, and I do it well.”