Meet Orthopedic Anesthesiologist And Pain Medicine Specialist Dr. Andrew Clary
Anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist Dr. Andrew Clary explains his practice and his approach to patient care.
A practice approach that emphasizes family
“Family is important to me,” says Dr. Andrew Clary, anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist at Summit Orthopedics. “I’m excited to be part of the Summit Orthopedics family offering a breadth of orthopedic expertise and collegial approach to care. It’s important to me to treat my patients the way I’d treat my family.
A shared passion for improving people’s lives
“My wife and I are both physicians,” Dr. Clary explains. “We met as undergrads at Case Western in Cleveland. Tracy focused on a specialization in gynecology, and I did an anesthesiology residency following my internship, serving as chief resident in my final year. I was drawn to the challenge of treating patients for pain. I did my pain medicine fellowship in Pittsburgh, where Tracy was a practicing OB-GYN. However, once I was board certified, we sat down together to decide where we wanted to raise our family. Tracy’s extended family is here in the Twin Cities, and we wanted our kids to grow up surrounded by aunts and uncles and cousins. We value close connections, great schools, and the tons of outdoor activities in Minnesota. We are delighted to be here, and couldn’t ask for a nicer community in which to practice medicine and raise our kids. We’ve got the American dream.”
Pain conditions treated by Dr. Clary
As an anesthesiologist, Dr. Clary specializes in interventional pain treatment. “Interventional pain treatments cover an extensive range of conditions for patients of all ages,” he explains. “I treat sports-related injuries when someone has a non-healing issue with joint pain or muscle pain. Headaches are another area of special interest to me. But the largest segment of my practice is in treatment of spine-related pain. Spinal stenosis treatment, in particular, is probably 60 percent of my practice. Spinal stenosis can cause back or leg pain, buttock pain, foot pain, neck, arm, and shoulder pain. This is my arena. I find it incredibly rewarding to be able to relieve a patient’s pain.”
Dr. Clary’s recipe for cultivating patient relationships
“I love meeting people, hearing their stories, learning about their lives, and especially swapping recipes,” Dr. Clary laughs. “Eating is something that we all share. I love to cook. My patients will tell you that I’ll make anything—from Grandma’s recipes to the hottest new pressure cooker recipe.
“My go-to barbecue sauce recipe came from the husband of one of my patients,” Dr. Clary relates. “His special barbecue sauce was famous among his friends and family. I asked, but he wouldn’t share the recipe. Whenever I saw him while treating his wife, I’d joke about those ingredients.” Dr. Clary’s pleasant persistence paid off. Eventually, the husband agreed to share at least the list of ingredients—if not exact amounts. That’s all Dr. Clary needed. “I experimented with ingredient proportions,” he says, “and that fabulous sauce has become our family’s favorite.
“Personalized medical care is about understanding what individuals value,” says Dr. Clary. “Chatting with my patients about food is a great icebreaker that helps me get to know them. Understanding what is important in my patients’ lives is the first step in making their lives better.”
More resources for you
Meet the Expert: Doctor Bio Video Series
Dr. Clary explains why a surgical referral can be helpful, even for patients who don’t want surgical treatment for spinal stenosis pain.
Ask the Expert: Spine Video Series