Dr. David Gale is considered one of metro Atlanta’s Top Doctors by Atlanta magazine. The anesthesiologist, who practices in Cartersville and Marietta, was one of four doctors with Alliance Spine and Pain Centers to receive this honor.
In all, about 1,000 physicians were named Top Doctors, with more than 50% of those in the pain medicine category being members of Alliance Spine and Pain Centers.
“To be honest, at first I kind of blushed!” Gale said, referring to learning about his Top Doctors distinction. “But to know that this honor was voted on by my fellow physicians is something special to me.”
“Our group has expanded all over the metro Atlanta area and we work to have only the best physicians join our practice,” he said about the Alliance Spine and Pain Centers. “The good news is if people move from here to other areas in Atlanta, hopefully they can find one of my Alliance partners who can continue giving top-notch pain care.”
Atlanta magazine’s Top Doctors list was included in the publication’s July issue.
According to a news release, “Atlanta magazine uses a database of top doctors compiled by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., an established health care research company based in New York, to assist in its annual effort. Doctors are nominated for consideration through both a nationwide survey and a peer nomination process.
“Castle Connolly’s physician-led team of researchers then select the Top Doctors through a rigorous screening process that includes an evaluation of educational and professional experience. This year, the publication honors 1,002 of these physicians representing the following counties: Fulton, Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Hall, Forsyth, Cherokee and Rockdale.”
Name: David W. Gale, MD
Age: 62 — now you know my secrets!
Occupation (title): Anesthesiologist, specializing in interventional pain management
Family: Married with four adult children all scattered across the USA
Education: Undergraduate — Purdue University. Medical school — The Ohio State University
The Daily Tribune News (DTN): How long have you been working for Alliance Spine and Pain Centers, and what led you to this line of work?
David Gale (DG): Twenty-plus years. After medical school, I spent five years traveling the world in the U.S. Air Force. Afterwards I began my residency in anesthesiology. At that time, pain medicine was in its infancy as a medical specialty. Typically, it was taught through anesthesiology. However once I spent a few months learning some of the tricks, I was hooked. I then spent an additional 12 months in a specialized pain management fellowship at the University of Texas before moving to Georgia.
DTN: What does your job entail, and what is the most common condition you treat?
DG: I spend half of my day seeing new patients and following up on existing patients on the office side of our practice. The other half day is spent doing specialized X-ray-guided injection procedures in various parts of the body, focusing on treatment of back and neck pain.
DTN: What do you enjoy most about your work?
DG: As physicians, we all go into this field with the idea of helping people. After 20 years, I know I cannot help everyone but the ones who do get at least 50 percent of improvement in their existing pain, I share in some of their joy. My partner, Dr. Nok, and I truly understand how important it is to help someone who is recovering from pain after an injury or pain from our bodies’ own natural aging process. Treating a patient’s pain really helps them maintain their independence and be more productive at home or in providing for their family. This is so important as today’s population is living longer.
DTN: What are some moments that have stood out from your work, and what do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your job?
DG: HA! I love it when a patent is so happy they share some of their home-grown “maters” or bring in a German chocolate cake!
DTN: What is your greatest professional and/or personal achievement?
DG: I flew over 200 missions and high-performance aircraft — mainly F-16s — during my time as a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon. While most of it was during peace time, the values that were instilled will continue to be carried with me for the rest of my life.
DTN: If you were not in your line of work, what would you like to do?
DG: My undergraduate degree at Purdue University was biomedical engineering. During my senior year, I actually was involved in some very basic, early research that ultimately has grown into implantable cardiac defibrillator units (AICD) that many patients walk around with today. So most likely, it would be in that field. However truth be told, I really wanted to be a center fielder for the Braves. But I was never fast enough, and for the life of me could never hit a curve ball!
DTN: How would you describe yourself in three words?
DG: Patriotic, perfectionist and fun
DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
DG: I am actually a very open person. Like it or not, what you see is what you get.
DTN: What is the best advice you have ever received?
DG: Never let someone else be the judge your own self-worth.
DTN: What do you like to do in your spare time?
DG: Cook steaks on the grill and follow my Falcons — Rise Up!
DTN: Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?
DG: Visiting the many new restaurants and occasionally, slipping into the Cigar Bar — don’t tell my wife!