Meet Dr. Kristopher Musgraves
As told by Kristopher Musgraves, M.D.
We sat down with Kristopher Musgraves, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor with Swedish Medical Group to learn more about his patient philosophy.
My Patient Philosophy
My patient philosophy is to be an advocate for my patients. I want them to make informed, educated decisions. I want them to understand the pros and cons of each treatment plan.
If I'm interacting with a patient, I should be educating them at all times. They should come away from it feeling more knowledgeable on how we're treating their condition and what their condition is.
As an individual, I can only see things from a certain perspective. In order to get a full 360 point of view, I sometimes rely on my peers, meaning the nurses, the therapists, the case management, so that we can put together a total picture of what the patient needs.
The Types of Patients I Treat
Everything affects our function one way or another. We're trying to restore function so people can have more autonomy in their lives.
We'll have patients who underwent heart surgery
. We'll see patients with stroke
or traumatic brain injuries
, children with development delays like cerebral palsy. We do sports medicine, so you'll see us working with athletes. We perform EMGs to help diagnose things like radiculopathy as well as peripheral nephropathy and carpal tunnel syndrome.
We have to look at what medical conditions we will be treating, the possible complications and the reason why this patient can't go home. I'm also assessing whether this patient can participate in three hours of therapy or whether they would be better suited for a less intense therapeutic regimen.
Restoring Patients' Freedom
What made me choose PMR is that I felt like it deals with a type of medicine that is often quite overlooked. A patient comes to the hospital and they're sick. We fix whatever is wrong with them, whether that's an infection or a broken bone, removing a cancer
. What do we do with the patient after we medically stabilize them or after we fix their acute issue? How do we deal with the effects of their sickness?
This can include what we take for granted every day. How we walk, navigate stairs, dress and undress and bathe. That's where the patient derives their autonomy, their identity. How they function through life.
Those are the things that individuals who are very de-conditioned from being hospitalized may struggle with. So we're trying to reduce that need for assistance as much as possible.
Working as a Team
From the case manager to the nurses and the therapists, all of us come together to approach a patient from different angles so that we can maximize their functional recovery.
I always say that the case manager
is the MVP and that's because they are. They're the ones that are the go-between for insurance companies, tells me what I need to address certain patient's conditions, whether that's equipment or needs at home. They put me in contact with family members who are going to be taking care of the patient so that we can come together and collaborate and come up with a plan for the patient.
I really need the eyes and ears of our nurses
to know how the patients function when we're not there. How's their pain? How are they sleeping? How are they eating? Are there any complaints that we can address before they become problems.
And then we have our therapy team
. Our occupational therapists, our speech therapists and our physical therapists. And those are the ones that are going to be hands on with the patient to assess their functional needs and assess their progress.
Then we also have our recreational therapists. What are the things that the patient likes to do for enjoyment? The reason why we are building this function, this foundation, is so that when they go home they can participate in the activities that they get a lot of joy out of.
Kristopher Musgraves, M.D., is a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician with Swedish Medical Group. His clinical interests include sports medicine, neuromuscular medicine, spastity and headache management.
By David Modica | Published December 6, 2019