Dr. Autry Parker
A native Memphian, Dr. Autry Parker is a board-certified, fellowship-trained anesthesiologist specializing in the interventional treatment of severe spinal and neuromuscular pain. With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Parker was an early pioneer in the comprehensive treatment of pain. His Medical and Public Health School graduation thesis at Yale University was used to develop the early protocols for patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) that remain in general use today.
Dr. Parker completed his residency and fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital as the first Blaustein Pain Fellow. The multidisciplinary fellowship incorporated all aspects of interventional and medical pain treatment, including spinal cord stimulation. Dr. Parker's early lectures and papers on opiate therapy still serve as study guides for continuing medical education in opiate education. His consistent and rational approach toward opiate therapy resulted in his appointment to the Tennessee Medical Advisory Board that helped develop the first pain management guidelines in the state.
Dr. Parker's clinical research interests include intradiscal cellular therapy. His expertise in intradiscal injections led him to become a principal investigator in the first FDA-approved Phase One, multicenter study of intradiscal stem cell therapy to treat lumbar degenerative disc disease.
Dr. Parker's current clinical and research interests have centered around the medical use of cannabis to treat pain and other conditions. He recently was awarded the first accredited Master of Science from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics.
Dr. Parker is active in his community, where he holds leadership positions with several local and state medical societies and community boards. He has been named a "Top Doctor" in Pain Management by his peers in Memphis Magazine from 2014 to 2019. He also plays the bass guitar for his church and Memphis Soul Remedy. He currently serves the nation's veterans as the director of interventional pain services at the Memphis VA Hospital. He is also an associate professor at the University of Tennessee Center of Health Sciences tasked with training the next generation of pain management physicians.
Dr. Parker's mission has always been to treat chronic pain. The limitations of current treatment options and the unfortunate societal consequences of inappropriate opiate therapies led to his pursuit of further understanding of cannabis to treat pain. With this newfound knowledge, Dr. Parker's current mission is to inform physicians about the scientific underpinnings of medical cannabis so that physicians can educate patients about the appropriate use, benefits, and risks of cannabis when used to treat pain and other conditions.