Casey A. Murphy, MD Receives Award

John R. Satterthwaite, MD

Dr. Hu Rosomoff, the founding President of SPS, would take any opportunity to speak during each Annual and Board meeting until his health prevented him from attending.  Hu was a veritable fountain of clinical wisdom, as well as a provider of historical perspective into the Society.  Now, as the “Old Guy” from the Board I would like to exercise my “Rosomoff privilege” to briefly walk down memory lane.

I began in private practice of anesthesiology in Greenville, SC in 1980, not even knowing what pain management was. At the request of a local surgeon I began using injections, primarily epidurals, to treat pain in about 1983. At that time, only 2 or 3 pain fellowships existed.  Wanting to learn more about the treatment of pain and what others were doing, I began going to meetings and joined SPS in 1987 as a Charter Member after attending the combined ASP and SPS meetings. Yes, we had joint meetings in those days.

These meetings and interactions with leaders in the field like Dr. Rosomoff, Marty Grabois, John Loeser, and multiple others helped me expand my knowledge base and clinical skills. Historically at that time, use of opioids was frowned upon, functional restoration was encouraged, surgery and injections were not that popular, and off label medication use was common, leading to many currently acceptable treatments for pain problems today.

I was asked to become SPS Treasurer in 1989, a position on the Board which I held until 2019 when I was forced to retire, due to pulmonary fibrosis. During my time on the Board, I had the honor and privilege to work closely with many of the top names in the field of pain.  I will not try to name them all because I am sure I would leave some out.  Suffice it to say, their names would be familiar to all. In those 30 years, many young practitioners came to our meetings, became excited, joined, and were encouraged to become more active in the Society. In fact, all of the current Board members and officers became involved in this way.

Why is this important?

It is the role of the Society to recruit, teach, support, and mentor young clinicians to blossom and become the future leaders in the field of pain management. It is up to us as a Society to develop, teach, and maintain high standards of practice for the care and protection of our patients.  We must nurture and encourage these young people to carry on and lead us through the turbulent times of the 21st Century. 

I am quite humbled that the Society has named this Early Career Award for me.  This award recognizes young clinicians who have shown excellence in leadership, education, and research in the field of pain.  They are our future. 

I am honored to be able to present this first John R. Satterthwaite, MD Early Career Award to Casey A. Murphy, MD

Dr. Murphy completed his training at Louisiana State University, finishing medical school in 2013, followed by a PM&R residency and Pain Medicine Fellowship, finishing in 2018. He was inducted into AOA Honor Medical Society and is a member of multiple professional societies, including SPS.

He is on the faculty at LSU and Tulane and is a staff physician at the VA in New Orleans. He serves as the Program Director of the LSU Pain Medicine Fellowship, this only 2 years after completing his own fellowship training. He  has completed numerous research projects and studies, some of which have been presented at SPS meetings. He has developed a special interest in the medical management of cancer pain and continues to pursue this project to completion.

In addition to teaching and mentoring trainees, speaking, pursuing his research, and running a department, Dr, Murphy still finds time to spend with his wife Sarah and his two young children in New Orleans.

You can see by his history how dedicated he has been in the past 7 years since medical school. It is my honor to present this first annual award to Dr. Casey A. Murphy.