Episode 116 - Melissa Cady, part 1: PAINDEMIC

Melissa Cady D.O.


    Melissa Cady is a physician trained in an osteopathic medical school followed by allopathic training in general surgery, internal medicine, anesthesiology, and pain medicine. Dr. Cady is currently board-certified in anesthesiology and fellowship-trained with a board certification in pain medicine. Prior to medical school, she worked as a personal trainer and as an aide for physical therapists. A native Texan, Dr. Cady currently practices anesthesiology in Austin, Texas.

Chronic pain is an issue that is near and dear to Dr. Cady, not just as a physician, but as a patient as well. Her own pain experiences in combination with her diverse medical background has equipped her with a set of skills and invaluable perspective. That knowledge has enabled her to manage her own pain more effectively without the need for medications, injections, or surgery.

Known as the “Challenge Doctor,” Dr. Cady is driven to champion the cause of living the antiPAIN Lifestyle and minimizing the current PAINDEMIC® that is so rampant today.


Dr. Melissa Cady is a physician from Texas. She loves gardening, traveling, and being outdoors. She reflects on her diverse background with personal training and work in physical therapy and doctor’s offices, which led her to apply to medical school. After interning in general surgery and internal medicine, she returned to San Antonio for a 3 years in anesthesia and a 1 year pain fellowship. She notes driving force in the private world being reimbursement, and reflects on the frustration in the field.


She is the author of “PAINDEMIC” and is currently focused on pain management and patient education.


Early Influences

Dr. Cady shares her own personal story regarding low back pain while in medical school, and goes into detail with some of the treatments during that time that led her to pursue pain science. 

She shares a relevant patient story that has led her to appreciate the adaptability of the human body.



Dr. Cady shares the “big picture” behind her book, targeted towards both patients and physicians. She notes that we can all benefit from humility and collaboration with others, and recognizes the value of self management.


Problem: Pain is a sensory and emotional experience, and often patients and providers discount the emotional and psychological pain experience. This portion of the book explains the importance of listening to patients, believing the patients, and educating them on pain response.


The Medical System: Dr. Cady expresses frustrations within the medical system, sharing that many physicians feel stressed out or burned out due to high volume practices. Medical practitioners feel victimized by the system, and she notes that “victims treating victims” is often not a sustainable business model or a successful treatment approach. She speaks to the complexity of the current healthcare system. 



“Pain is usually not life threatening, it is life altering… especially dependent upon how you are viewing it.”


She goes on to explain how pain is often a signal that something may be amiss, but is rarely an emergency situation. She stresses the importance of pain education.