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Innovative spine assessment clinic fast-tracks information for patients in pain

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Innovative spine assessment clinic fast-tracks information for patients in pain
Dr. Christian Veillette

​​​​​​​​​​​Dr. Christian Veillette holds a tablet featuring Dr. Raja Rampersaud. They have created a mobile app that providers in their program can use to create and manage personalized patient-care programs and track progress.​

Frustration and empathy led to the creation of a new shared-care model

In 2013, Taube Zeifman started experiencing mild back pain. She didn't think it was too serious – maybe a herniated disc. But it was uncomfortable enough that she went to her doctor. Not much was done during the visit, other than a referral to a physiotherapist, who gave her several exercises to do. But over the next six months, the pain got worse. "There was pain down my leg. I couldn't stand, and I could only walk slowly," she says.

Taube figured it would take a year to see a back specialist and even longer to get an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan, but her physiotherapist said that she'd only have to wait a few weeks. She was right. Two weeks later, Taube met with Dr. Andrew Bidos (chiropractor) in Dr. Raja Rampersaud's interprofessional spine clinic at Toronto Western Hospital, who determined that an MRI was indeed necessary in her case. Unfortunately, Taube's diagnosis was more than a herniated disc: arthritis, spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis – all painful back ailments.​