Survey Response: David Hanscom, MD

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This survey was last updated in November 2012.

Degrees/Licenses Held: MD. Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, Washington, ID, HI, CA

Contact Information:
David Hanscom
Swedish Neuroscience Specialists
550 17th Ave, Suite 500
Seattle, WA, 98122


Number of years in practice: 26

Number of years in practice with patients who have TMS: 6

Number of patients you have seen who have had TMS: > 1000

Do you work with other professionals when helping TMS patients? If so, please describe.
Our Seattle spine community is slowly shifting our paradigm to the Mind Body Syndrome.

Have you ever suffered from TMS?
Yes - severely. This is the link to my website page describing my personal experience with MBS.

What insurance plans do you currently accept? All-I work for my hospital and all plans are accepted.

What is your association to the TMS community?
I work closely with Howard Schubiner. We have both taught each other a lot about what affects chronic pain and what treatment paradigms are effective. We are committed to getting word out about MBS and I am determined to stop the surgical juggernaut.

What steps should TMS clients take before contacting you?
They should look at my website. I am not in a position to actively engage in the long-term treatment of MBS. I am still a full-time surgeon and am committed to stopping spine surgery that is being performed for MBS. I can do some surgical consultations requested by the patient’s referring physician.

Have you published any materials related to TMS?
My book, Back in Control: A Spine Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain, is now available. Here is the link

Special Questions for Physicians

Have you ever trained under Dr. John E. Sarno, or another TMS doctor? If so, please explain.
I have worked with Dr. Howard Schubiner and we continue to collaborate. Dr. Schubiner trained under Dr. Sarno.

Other than training with a TMS doctor, what have you done to educate yourself about TMS, and what plans do you have for further education about TMS?
I inadvertently began to utilize Mind Body Syndrome principles to pull myself out of a severe personal and professional burnout. I was completely crippled by chronic pain and anxiety. I began to seriously utilize these principles in 2000 and began to share them with my patients. A treatment pathway has evolved that has allowed hundreds of my patients to become pain free. I am on an endless quest to find additional tools for my patients to help themselves out of pain.

How would you characterize your position on referring for spinal surgery? See below

Do you feel comfortable referring people to TMS books? Yes - The resources on your website are quite familiar to me/

As we are going to post your answers on the TMS Wiki, feel free to write some text to introduce yourself:
I am orthopedic spine surgeon who specializes in complex spinal deformity and failed backs. Many of my patients have undergone more than five failed surgeries. I eventually realized through my own personal experience and observation of my patients that surgery was always less than half of the solution. The development of alternative neurological pathways and physical conditioning are critical for a successful outcome. As chronic pain is a neurological diagnosis and rarely a structural problem surgery is seldom effective. It is my feeling that over half of spine surgeries should never be performed.

I have watched hundreds of patients become pain free. The one variable that predicts success is being open to a new paradigm of understanding pain and taking full responsibility for your care. My book, Back in Control: A Spine Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain, will enable you to begin your journey back to a rich and full life.

This is the link that goes directly to the site where the printed book can now be purchased.

DISCLAIMER: The TMS Wiki is for informational and support purposes only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. See Full Disclaimer.