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Amy Phelan, M.D., D.V.M.

Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Meet Dr. Amy Phelan
Back and Neck Pain Specialist

“During the back and neck pain rehabilitation process, we strive to help people,” says spine rehabilitation specialist Amy Phelan, M.D., D.V.M. “It’s very fulfilling to help guide people out of what can be a dark, scary, and painful place, and help them gain function and understanding in regards to their condition.”

A fourth-generation Texas physician and 2010 D Magazine Best Doctor, Dr. Phelan specializes in nonoperative spine rehabilitation at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She serves as Medical Director of UT Southwestern Spine Center’s nonoperative-focused Spine Rehabilitation Program, which she established in 2007.

“We strive to help people do – within the parameters of their abilities – the unique things that they want and need to do, whether that’s performing their jobs, playing a sport, or taking care of themselves and their families.”

In addition to treating neck pain and back pain, Dr. Phelan offers conservative treatment options for injuries and diseases of the cervical, lumbar, and thoracic spine – primarily physical therapy and injection-based therapies such as nerve-root blocks, steroid injections, and spinal-cord stimulation.

She also conducts preoperative assessments and provides postsurgical rehabilitative care.

“We’re very focused on delivering the individualized, integrated, and expedited care that helps patients reach their functional goals,” Dr. Phelan says.

Dr. Phelan was a small-animal veterinarian for nine years before switching to caring for people. During medical school, she witnessed firsthand the rehabilitation of a family member who had suffered a stroke.

“I went through that rehabilitation process with him and saw what it can do to help people who have suffered an injury or other catastrophic life event,” she says. “When I was deciding on a medical specialty, I realized that rehabilitation medicine encompasses everything I like about practicing medicine.”

Her work has proved fulfilling both professionally and personally.

“I love our patients and our practice,” she says. “It’s very rewarding to help people do what they need to do.”

Dr. Phelan is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, with subspecialty certification in pain medicine. She is married to Herbert Phelan, M.D., and trains and shows Portuguese water dogs in her spare time.