| Next Generation

Sean Li, MD

I focus on offering my patients the best, most innovative, evidence-based treatment to help alleviate their chronic pain.

GPS I was born in Shanghai and grew up in Canada. I am currently a privademic physician in the New Jersey division of the largest pain management practice in the country.

Typical Day My clinic days typically start at 8 am where I see patients with chronic pain and perform routine injections and procedures. On Thursdays, I am in the operating room: spinal cord stimulator implants, interspinous spacers, minimally invasive lumbar decompression, SI joint fusion, and intrathecal pumps.

Persona I focus on offering my patients the best, most innovative, evidence-based treatment to help alleviate their chronic pain. My goals are excellence in clinical practice, research, and teaching. I have been fortunate to participate in some of the recent landmark studies in the field of pain and neuromodulation. If these clinical experiences and research endeavors have given me the opportunity to formulate an opinion that may help others, I am thus honored to be considered an opinion leader.

Social Media Habits I occasionally use social media to stay in touch with distant relatives and friends. Other than professional outlets such as LinkedIn, I tend to be a social media novice.

Contribution What I can offer to patients is not a reflection of what I learned in medical school or residency but more importantly my experiences as a human being. I would never have imagined myself growing up to be a physician and living the American Dream. My parents were both physicians who were persecuted during the Cultural Revolution and landed in America with a suitcase, $300, and the dream that their son would have the freedom to learn without censorship. My experiences of growing up in a Third World country and later as an immigrant in the New World has taught me invaluable lessons in life and human perseverance. These experiences give me a deeper understanding of poverty, racial disparity, and social injustices when treating chronic pain patients.

People I value human culture as a collective. I enjoy traveling and go off the tourist grid, visiting local supermarkets, libraries, and shops to peek into everyday life.

Words During long flights, I enjoy reading spiritual guides from Thich Nhat Hanh that help enrich my understanding of human suffering and compassion for one another.

Popcorn Shawshank Redemption. When faced with complete hopelessness, the main character found solace in friendship and ultimately his freedom through shear grit. In life, sometimes we all must crawl through a mile of sewage to find our redemption.

PAINWeek PW is not a typical medical meeting. It is a celebration of chronic pain awareness and a united nation of treating clinicians. There is a diverse fellowship of all healthcare providers who treat patients suffering from pain. pw goes beyond medicine and explores the humanity of chronic pain by recognizing its role in art, culture, and education. It is the highlight event of the year.