R. Norman Harden, MD

R. Norman Harden, MD, Associate Professor, Northwestern University, Pain Management and Rehabilitation, and Physical Therapy; Director, Center for Pain Studies, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Pain Management and Rehabilitation, Chicago, IL.

R. Norman Harden, MD

QuestionWhat inspired you to become a healthcare provider?

AnswerI was starving as a writer, and bored in graduate school, even with a full-time job and my band. I was whining one night and someone bet me I couldn’t get into medical school. Needless to say I didn’t stay bored after acceptance.

QuestionWhy did you focus on pain management?

AnswerIt’s a great place to be as a program designer, study designer, and researcher…since no one knew jack when I got in this business. Of course it remains, conversely, a terrible place to be as a patient…because it still seems like we don’t know jack.

QuestionWho were your mentors?

AnswerRobert Taylor (physiology), Stefano Brena (pain systems), and Gary Bennett (how to think).

QuestionIf you weren't a healthcare provider, what would you be?

AnswerActually, I still hope my night job—rock and roll drummer—will save me from my day job.

QuestionWhat is your most marked characteristic?


QuestionWhat do you consider your greatest achievement?

AnswerRaising my lads thus far.

R. Norman Harden, MD

QuestionWhat is your favorite language?

AnswerEnglish. I was an English major…see above.

QuestionIf you had to choose one book, one film, and one piece of music to take into space for an undetermined amount of time, what would they be?

AnswerOf Human Bondage. Brazil. And Major Tom (the space thing).

QuestionWhat would you like your legacy to be?

AnswerImproved pain care delivery, advanced study design, better outcomes measures, saved the life of a few pain patients, world’s best dad (my boys assure me that is the case), and helped nationalize health care in the USA.

QuestionWhat is your motto?

AnswerWhat’s so funny ‘bout peace, love, and understanding?


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