Dr. Mark Bicket joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Department of Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine in 2015. He sees patients at the Blaustein Pain Treatment Center and also devotes time to research endeavors. Clinically, he specializes in the treatment of chronic and neuropathic pain. He performs fluoroscopically guided or ultrasound-guided interventions such as injections of peripheral nerves, muscles, and joints. He also focuses on applications of ultrasound in chronic pain, given its relatively new use in the field. Another option for pain management that he uses is radiofrequency ablation, a technique in which heat is applied to nerves to interrupt pain signals. He recognizes the need for a multidisciplinary approach to treating persisting pain that can involve other fields, including psychology, rehabilitation, and complementary and alternative therapies.
Dr. Bicket chose to enter the pain field because knowledge of pain and pain management is still quite limited, providing ample opportunities for research. Currently, he is leading research on treatments and their evidence base for low back pain. His past research focused on the effectiveness of epidural steroids for alleviating back pain. For example, his work showed that epidural injections can reduce the need for surgery in the short-term. Because long-term data are not yet available, follow up with patient outcomes for 5 to 10 years will be needed for more conclusive results. Dr. Bicket enjoys doing research, but he finds that the most rewarding part of his job is treating patients and educating them about their pain and treatment options.
Currently, Dr. Bicket is working toward a Master’s in Health Sciences in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has also earned a coveted spot on a training grant that supports his work to study chronic low back pain. In the long term, he plans to obtain independent funding to conduct data analysis on pain trials and patient outcomes. His goal is to identify treatments that are more precise than the current options and to be able to determine which treatment will be most appropriate for each individual patient.
Education: After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 2006 with a degree in mathematics and economics, Dr. Bicket attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University. He continued his training with a residency in Anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins (2011–2014) and a clinical fellowship in Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, which he completed in 2015.