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Exploring Life & Business with Dr. Ivan Edwards of Jovana Rehabilitation Medicine & Pain

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Ivan Edwards.

Hi Dr. Ivan, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Born in Kampala, Uganda, I emigrated to the US in 1988–arriving here with a dream to create a future I envisioned for a long time: to be in a position to channel hope and healing to those who needed it.

I was a minister then (a lad) and started off in ministry in NH. I participated in getting sponsorships for primary education for orphans in Uganda. But that wasn’t enough for me.

The burden of seeing many sick people without access to basic healthcare prompted me to train to become a doctor–and, in so doing, become a better avenue to meet a greater cross-section of people with need. A call to service. A call I answered gladly. Thus, I embarked on the long path of becoming a medical doctor, a path that required focus, discipline, and commitment.

In 2004, I became a doctor and along the way became an officer (a Flight Surgeon) in the US Air Force Reserve.

In 2010, after working for a hospital in Wisconsin, I decided to return and settle in San Antonio, TX.

From the money I had saved, I started, from scratch, a practice, here in San Antonio, in 2010–which blossomed. In 2013 – 2017, I ran rehabilitation programs for people with neuro-degenerative disorders and pain (as director of two acute rehabilitation units). Two years ago, I was asked by members of the community to conduct symposiums on the topic of resilience–which I now do annually.

The steps this man took, from that of an immigrant, with humble beginnings, to that of doctor, senior military officer and business owner (while retaining my humanitarian aspect) are steps created by an unfettered spirit.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?

Some struggles I encountered were:
a) close friends and relatives who doubted my vision and aspirations. “Who do you think you are?”
b) a few racist moments – “how could an immigrant like you get there?”
c) nominal resources, like finances, for which I worked extra hard to make available for my path.
d) the drive to keep going in spite of hardship (family commitments, work, conflicting schedules, etc)

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Jovana Rehabilitation Medicine & Pain?
I am a medical doctor, a specialist and board certified in the specialty of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. As a physiatrist, I have expertise in treating issues, including pain management, related to injury, trauma, and specifically affecting the brain, spinal cord, bones, muscles, nerves and soft tissue. I primarily do neurorehabilitation (for conditions that involve neurological aspects) and pain management.

My practice has both in hospital and outpatient leanings. In hospitals, I am a consultant–asked by other services and doctors to see patients with who have had trauma and injury, or have neurological conditions that warrant rehabilitation. I am also consulted to see patients with pain acute and chronic.

What sets me apart from others is my holistic and individualized approach to pain management, especially in the outpatient setting (where people are not acutely ill or in danger of dying imminently). Medicine is more than just giving someone a drug or a procedure. I brand my treatment model as MEDS: M- medication & meditation; E – exercise; D – diet; S – sleep and de-Stress. I connect with patients. A true connection where we all collaborate to meet the patient’s unique needs.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
A curious kid, always eager to learn.

I used to stutter, was made fun of, even bullied and never told my family about it. Yet there was this innate drive in me that I could do it in spite of anything anyone threw in front of me.

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