As a physiatrist (a doctor who practices physical medicine and rehabilitation), Charles Odonkor, MD, is used to explaining his medical specialty.
“As humans, we evolved to be creatures of movement—you stop moving, you get sick. And sometimes chronic illness or pain will stop you in your tracks. That’s where a physiatrist steps in,” Dr. Odonkor says. “I use my toolbox, which includes medications, exercises, physical modalities, or interventions to help you get back to moving again and doing what you enjoy.”
Physiatry, he explains, goes beyond thinking about the body as just parts to looking at how the nerves, bones, muscles, and tendons are connected, with each one impacting function and movement.
Dr. Odonkor completed a fellowship in pain medicine at Harvard Medical School and a physiatry residency and patient safety and health systems design fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. As an alumnus of Yale School of Medicine, he is excited to return to Yale to bring his expertise in advanced pain intervention techniques, regenerative medicine and neuromodulation to alleviate chronic pain.
Dr. Odonkor is passionate about providing exceptional patient care experience and designing value care processes that promote comprehensive functional restoration. He says that in tackling challenging conditions like complex regional pain syndrome, lumbar stenosis, and hip, spine, and joint pain, “one of the things I enjoy most is forming a therapeutic relationship with patients. That’s where the healing starts.”
“To me, pain is like a big black box. We are in the 21st century and there still is so much we don’t know about it,” he adds.
His research interests include wearable devices that involve biosensors that, for a patient with a chronic back pain, for example, track changes in range of motion, gait speed, physical activity, and other measures of function.
Dr. Odonkor is an assistant professor of orthopedics and rehabilitation at Yale School of Medicine.
|North American Neuromodulation Society Travel Award||North American Neuromodulation Society||2019|
|ASRA Travel Award||American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine||2017|
|1st Place, Best of Meeting Research Paper Award||America Society of Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine||2017|
|President's Citation Award||American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation||2017|
|1st Place, AAP Best Resident Research Paper Award||Association of Academic Physiatrist||2017|
|Regenerative Medicine Scholarship Award||Interventional Orthopedics Foundation||2017|
|Martin Luther King Jnr. Award for Community Service||Johns Hopkins Health System||2016|
|Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute Leadership Academy||Johns Hopkins Hospital||2016|
|Young Investigator Award||American Pain Society||2015|
|Johns Hopkins Hospital Housestaff Excellence in Leadership Award||Johns Hopkins Hospital||2015|
|Paul S. Lietman Global Health Travel Grant||Johns Hopkins Hospital||2015|
|Johns Hopkins Biomedical Scholars Milestones Awards||Johns Hopkins Hospital||2015|
|Fujita Health Presidential Research Scholarship||Fujita Health University||2015|
|1st Place, AAP Best Medical Student Research Paper Award||Association of Academic Physiatrists||2013|
|Ruth and William Silen MD Award||Harvard Medical School, New England Science Symposium||2013|
|American College of Medical Quality Student and Resident Scholar Award, $1000 Travel Grant, 2013||American College of Medical Quality||2012|
|Yale Farr Leadership Award||Yale||2012|
|AMSA Medical Humanities Award||American Medical Students Association||2011|
|Yale FASPE Bioethics Research Fellowship Award||Yale School of Medicine||2011|
|Mt. Desert Island Biological Research Fellowship Award||Yale School of Medicine||2009|
|Spine Intervention Society, Diversity Taskforce, Membership Committee||Committee Member||2020 - Present|
|North American Neuromodulation Society, Diversity and Outreach Committee||Research subdivision||2019 - Present|
|Spine Intervention Society Research Committee||Committee Member||2019 - Present|
|American Academy of Pain Medicine, Pain Medicine Journal||Reviewer||2017 - Present|
|American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine||Member||2017 - Present|
|American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation||Reviewer||2017 - Present|
|North American Neuromodulation Society||Member||2017 - Present|
|American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Quality Practice Policy and Research Committee||Committee Member||2016 - 2017|
|AAPMR Technology Advisory Council||Committee Member||2016 - 2017|
|Physiatry in Motion, AAP Resident Fellow Newsletter||Newsletter Editor||2016 - 2017|
|American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, PMR Journal||Reviewer||2015 - Present|
|American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation||Member||2015 - Present|
|President, Association of Academic Physiatrists Resident Fellow Council||Board of Directors||2015 - 2017|
|British Journal of Surgery||Reviewer||2013 - Present|