Joshua P. Prager, M.D., M.S was born in New York City and studied in the public education system until he completed his pre-medical studies at Harvard University. He attended Stanford University School of Medicine where he simultaneously received a Master’s Degree in management/health services research while attending Stanford Graduate School of Business.
He completed internal medicine training at UCLA and anesthesiology training at Stanford Medical Center and Harvard Medical School at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is board certified in internal medicine and anesthesiology and is also board certified in pain medicine through both The American Board of Anesthesiology and The American Board of Pain Medicine. Dr. Prager has held full-time positions on the faculty of Harvard Medical School at the Massachusetts General Hospital and at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA where he was the director of the UCLA Pain Medicine Center.
Dr. Prager currently is the director of the Center for the Rehabilitation of Pain Syndromes (CRPS) at UCLA Medical Plaza. He is a faculty member in the Department of Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology at UCLA. Dr. Prager is a past-president and is Senior advisor to the Board of the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) and also serves as liaison board member between NANS and the International Neuromodulation Society (INS). He is a past Chair of the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Group on the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP).
Dr. Prager has delivered the Decade of Pain Lecture at the American Academy of Pain Medicine annual meeting. He received an award for leadership and contributions by the California Society of Anesthesiologists and is editor of its continuing medical education program on pain and end of life care. In 2012 he received the lifetime achievement award from the North American Neuromodulation Society and in 2013 received an award for his dedication and contributions to the field of neuromodulation from the INS.
Dr. Prager has twice received teaching awards in the Department of Anesthesiology at UCLA for teaching in pain medicine. He has received the Bounty of Hope award by the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Society of America for patient care and contributions to the RSD community. He served as a pain expert for the California Department of Worker’s Compensation in developing guidelines to treat the injured worker.
Dr. Prager believes that voluntary work is an important component of his career. He has volunteered providing internal medicine care at the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic as well as providing anesthesia for Third World children undergoing correction of congenital anomalies through the Organization Interplast. He served as a consultant to Medicare on a local level and currently serves on the national level. He has lectured extensively and taught cadaver workshops in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Current additional activities include chair of one and participation in a second evidence based medicine guidelines project, chair of a best practices project and development of revised treatment algorithm for CRPS. He is analyzing data related to management of side-effects of ketamine infusions for the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome as well as depression. His most recent publication in the Journal Pain Medicine reviews the use of ketamine infusions to treat CRPS.
Dr. Prager’s clinical practice focuses on Complex Regional Pain Syndromes, Neuromodulation, and precision spinal diagnostics and therapeutics. He has run an active ketamine infusion for the last years and has administered over 1200 ketamine infusions. Since 1998 he has managed a comprehensive inter-disciplinary functional rehabilitation program designed to return normal function to patients with complex regional pain syndromes and other pain problems that involve central sensitization. He is currently participating a a research study examining brain activity before and after ketamine infusions utilizing function magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).