Health knowledge made personal
Hello, my name is Steve Levitt and welcome to my blog. I'm a psychiatrist with 30 years of experience conducting research on temporomandibular disorders (sometimes called "TMD" or "TMJ") and chronic pain. Prior to getting my MD, my PhD research involved the molecular spectroscopic studies of apatites, the inorganic component of teeth and bones. I also developed a method of forming apatite powders into solid shapes for use as prosthetic implants. As Senior Research Scientist at Ferro Corporation's Technical Center in Cleveland, I developed novel, high strength fiber reinforced ceramic composites and led a joint research program with the Biomaterials Center at Case Western Reserve Univeristy in Cleveland studying glasses as potential coating materials for implantable devices. I was an NIH Research Fellow during medical school at Case Western Reserve University, and then did my Residency in Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. In 1979 I began my private practice and also joined the Clinical Faculty at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. My area of special interest and expertise was in the field of chronic pain. For 18 years I served as Psychiatric Consultant to the dentists and physicians in the University of North Carolina Multidisciplinary Clinical Pain Program and during that time I became Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry. In 1982 I co-founded Pain Resource Center, Inc., a company devoted to developing clincial evaluation tools in the field of chronic pain and temporomandibular disorders. As Director of Research I led research programs resulting in the development of a number of clinical tools now in widespread use. The " Scale" is used by dentists, TMJ Specialists and other clinicians to screen for and measure the physical and psychosocial symptoms of temporomandibular disorders. There is also an on-line version at www.tmjscale.com for people to self-test for 'TMJ' and to compare the intensity of their symptoms (both physical and psychological) to others with this problem. The 'Chronic Pain Battery' is used by physicians, psychologists, and dentists for chronic pain evaluation and treatment. In addition to about 40 publications in scientific and clinical journals, I also created educational programs for clincians and patients. "Cope with Pain" is a 3 1/2 hour audio program for patients covering many important topics on how to better understand and manage chronic pain and make well informed decisions regarding their heatlh care, the health care system, and their quality of life living with pain. "The Chronic Pain Patient: Theory, Evaluation and Treatment" is a 7 1/2 hour audio program for clincians.