own approach to accurately diagnosing the exact source of a patient’s pain. As an example of the technique, Dr. Grover describes the case of a professional baseball pitcher he treated for chronic pain. “Prior treatments had focused on a diagnosis of a bulging disk, based on his X-rays,” he says. “But once we mapped out the true source of his pain by selectively blocking different possible pain triggers and seeing the subsequent response in his pain level, we were able to perform a minimally invasive procedure to treat the exact problem. The treatment reversed the years of compensation and imbalance that were throwing off his form, and afterward, the force and accuracy of his pitches dramatically improved.” He models the team-based approach in his clinical practice on the respectful environment that he experienced and valued at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “Everyone counts: the physician is no more important than the nurse or the person who shows the patient into the exam room,” he says. An ardent advocate for patient rights and education, Dr. Grover has served for more than 20 years as a medical commentator on networks including CNN, NBC, CBS, PBS, and Fox, addressing a wide range of topics. In 1994, he appeared on Larry King Live to debate the use of assisted suicide; he intervened in the case of a patient with chronic, excruciating pain, caused by cancer, who had been consulting with Jack Kevorkian, MD, to end the pain through assisted suicide. Dr. Grover offered an alternative that the patient agreed to try. In an advanced procedure, he implanted an anesthesia pump directly into the patient’s spine, and that succeeded in providing the patient with an additional two and a half years of life, pain-free. In 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Grover volunteered with a medical triage team at the Houston Astrodome, caring for evacuees from New Orleans. Less than a year later, following a devastating earthquake in Pakistan, Dr. Grover temporarily closed his office and set out alone to help. The photographs he sent back to CNN prompted the network to assign a team that would produce a special report on the disaster. Because of his work in Pakistan, Dr. Grover received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce of Houston in 2006. “The people I’ve helped have brought me much more than I brought them,” he says. “I was born in India, so I know about karma; I know that it comes back to you in many ways.” M Robert Wood Johnson I MEDICINE 45 COURTESY OF PAVAN GROVER, MD ’89