James Patrick Murphy, MD, MMM


James Patrick Murphy, MD, MMM is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English from Missouri’s Westminster College (Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award 2014), Dr. Murphy attended the University of Louisville School of Medicine and was Vice President of the Class of 1985. His internship was at the San Diego Naval Hospital in the Department of Psychiatry, after which he completed Aerospace Medicine training in Pensacola, Florida.

Dr. Murphy served as a Naval Flight Surgeon with Carrier Air Wing Eleven onboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise until returning to Louisville in 1989 for residency training in Anesthesiology.  He practiced in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, before moving to Rochester, Minnesota, in 1997 for a Pain Management fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, returning in 1998 to his hometown of Louisville to continue building his medical practice.  During this time he participated in several overseas humanitarian missions as an anesthesiologist with Operation Smile.

Dr. Murphy is among the most highly credentialed Pain Medicine specialists in the world, having achieved four board certifications in Pain Medicine, two in Addiction Medicine, and a lifetime certification in Anesthesiology. He actively participates in the American Board of Medical Specialties Maintenance of Certification program and has achieved the status of Fellow, American Society of Addiction Medicine. He was Kentucky’s first physician to achieve board certification in Pain Management and certification in Addiction Medicine. He was also the first Kentucky physician honored by selection for the prestigious Mayday Fellowship – advocating for pain care.

In May 2013, Dr. Murphy was awarded a Master of Medical Management from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.

Dr. Murphy has recently served as President of the Greater Louisville Medical Society. He is Founder, Medical Director and CEO of Murphy Pain Center; and volunteers as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

Dr. Murphy contributes to numerous publications, has presented before national and international audiences, and consults with a wide spectrum of agencies and individuals regarding pain, addiction, and the future of healthcare in our country.

You can read more about Dr. Murphy in the June 2013 Louisville Medicine and view his curriculum vitae in Dropbox: https://goo.gl/dBxTFG







4 thoughts on “James Patrick Murphy, MD, MMM

  1. Dr. Murphy has achieved so many accomplishments. Meeting him today for the first time and then reading this article tonight….I’m so impressed. He’s such a great person willing to stop and take a moment for me to get to know him. Dr. Murphy is treating my husband for chronic back pain. We feel blessed to have found a doctor with such great knowledge and demeanor as well.

  2. I have to say that I’ve been a chronic pain patient for more years then I care to think about and all the controversy over pain medications especially opioid’s is driving me nuts. Personally speaking, I feel that there should be a seminar consisting of all physicians who prescribe pain meds in attendance and a patient presenting the seminar. The seminar should be on the perspective of patients and not what the literature states regarding all pain meds.

    I’ve had 10 back surgeries. My last was this past July 17, 2013. Up until then I had to take a high dose of Morphine, 100 mg 1 three times a day. Without this, I simply would not have been able to function due to my pain level. Keep in mind, this wasn’t a dosage that kept me out of pain, it simply allowed me to function. My pain was high, probably higher then most but after so many years of living like this you learn how to live w/a certain amount. What I wish all doctors would understand you cannot judge each patient by what you THINK a medication should do for them or how LONG a medication should last between doses. Each patient is different as are their tolerances. In my case, I used to be on Oxycontine (the OC not OP). This is a medication where 1 pill should last up to 12 hrs. Mine, which by the way, was 80 mg, barely lasted 8 hrs. After that, it was down hill for me. Now the morphine 100 mg, if forced to, I could make it last up to 10 hrs. but then, I didn’t do anything more then lay on the couch. Unfortunately, there were many days I would have to take an extra simply because my doctor was unable due to the laws, to prescribe anything for what is affectionately called “break through pain”. So I either suffered while the pain was higher then normal or at the end of the month I would inevitably be short.

    I believe patients need to be completely educated on the medication they are prescribed by the prescribing physician and NOT the pharmacy. What is expected of the medication and what is expected of the patient while taking this. For me, I was lucky because my doctor, Dr. Murphy, did explain for the most part how my medication worked. Doctors should be honest with explaining that this medication isn’t to take you completely out of pain because that simply will not happen, it’s to make you as comfortable as possible without going overboard. Understanding you have to guard against pill seekers, when a patient tells you that their medication isn’t working try to ask more questions such as: 1) how is it not working; 2) how long does it seem to keep your pain at a manageable level; 3) when do you take it i.e. only as needed for pain or as prescribed by physician every so many hrs. (chronic pain patients). Most importantly when prescribing a pain medication, ask the patient what THEY EXPECT the medication to do for them. Once you have an understanding of what the patient expects, you can then explain what the actual expectation of that medication is. With chronic pain patients, explain to them if they only take the medication when their pain is at it’s worst, it will never work properly nor will it catch up to their pain.

    If you want to figure out quickly enough if a patient is a pill seeker but you’re not completely sure, prescribe a placebo first and have them take it for a couple of weeks. If the patient really needs the medication, it won’t take long for you to see this. I know this sounds harsh but it’s better then the alternative, prescribing something to someone who doesn’t really need such a strong medication. Put them through testing such as a physical test in your office and/or x-ray’s, CT, or MRI’s. Most patients will go along w/this but there are some who don’t want to spend the money and those, for the most part, are your pill seekers. Most people no matter how broke we are, if we are in that much pain will endure anything the doctor throws at us so we can be placed on something that will help us. This may sound ridiculous but I know, I’ve been through it many times. You don’t want to do something that is completely unnecessary but you do want to do the tests that best show what the patient may be feeling and why.

    I think patients also need to understand that too much pain medication can cause an adverse effect as well and I don’t mean w/overdose. I had a physician who over prescribed oxycontine and I was in more pain taking 8 80 mg’s a day then when finally reduced to 4 80 mg’s a day. Lucky for me, I had changed Pain Management Physicians and Dr. Murphy fixed this then eventually changed me over to morphine. In my situation, the morphine works much better. This brings me to my next point, when prescribing pain medication for the first time to your patients, don’t give them a month’s worth to start, give them 2 weeks instead. By doing this you can determine what best works for this individual. If you give them 30 days worth and it doesn’t work they have to wait until that medicine is out before they can be changed to something else and in the meantime, they suffer. It may take a couple of visits but worth it in the long run for the patient because sometimes there are patients who simply don’t know what questions to ask or how to accurately describe their pain. If you can’t get a clear answer, you can’t prescribe accordingly. You need to help the patient in this process as well.

    Patients need to know that they should learn to listen to their bodies regardless of how much medication you are taking for pain there comes a point that a pill simply will not fix everything and sometimes, you just have to lay down w/a heating pad.

    Fortunately for me, my 10th back surgery worked for the time being. I have many problems with my back but I am able to get by on a lower dose of morphine now, 30 mg’s 1 three times a day with a small prescription of Norco to help w/the discomfort I have at times from my screws and rods. Because of my experience as a chronic pain patient I’ve lived through the long winded points I’ve mentioned above. I understand when it’s time to just lay down w/my heating pad. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have a Pain Management Physician and Nurse Practitioner who take the time to explain things to me, listen, and trust me as much as I trust them. At the end of the day, that’s really what counts the understanding between physician and patient along with trust.

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