Husband wife team grow Illinois Pain Institute

Updated 4/9/2012 9:50 AM
  • Dr. John Prunskis

    Dr. John Prunskis

  • Dr. Terri Dallas-Prunskis

    Dr. Terri Dallas-Prunskis

An interview with Dr. John Prunskis, co-owner of Illinois Pain Institute.

Q: Describe your business. What do you do?

A: We precisely diagnose and treat painful conditions such as back and neck pain, sciatica, herniated discs, headaches, musculoskeletal pain, pelvic pain, pain after surgeries and many other painful conditions.

Q: What made you start your business?

A: We started our own practice due to great demand for our services. Dr. John Prunskis was the most requested anesthesiologist and pain physician at a major suburban hospital and Dr. Terri Dallas-Prunskis was chairman of the pain program at the University of Chicago. After we got married we decided to take the plunge start the first multisite private pain management practice in the Chicago area.

Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?

A: The most difficult obstacle in running our practice is letting people know about our services. Everyday we hear people say "I wish I new about you earlier," or "I wish my doctor knew about your practice."

Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?

A: I enjoy most getting people out of pain by addressing and fixing the source of their painful condition and not just masking the symptoms.

Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: When I was young I had no idea this is what I would do. Summer jobs I held before becoming a doctor were: working in a meat packing plant, working on the railroad, working as a hospital lab tech and working in an auction art gallery. I only decided to be a physician once I was a freshman in college. I never envisioned myself as being the medical director of the largest pain management practice in the Chicago area, however, I always felt inside I would accomplish something.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: Things that sometimes keep me up at night are worrying about some of my patients. Also I sometimes worry about the continual decrease in reimbursements and the medical malpractice crisis in Illinois. I have to pay my excellent staff. The government and insurance companies are not making it any easier. Congress must enact both a permanent Medicare fix as well as tort reform. Too many good doctors are leaving Illinois and especially Cook County because of the medical lawsuit crisis in this state. Patients access to care is being adversely affected by the above. My dog also wakes me at night to be let out. She is getting older.

Q: You could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?

A: My advice to rookie businessman would be to always do what you say, remember please and thank you and follow your passion. Also find a mentor or coach and surround yourself with good advisors.

• Every Monday we feature a small business. We want to hear about yours. Contact

-Kim Mikus

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