My name is Mark Bender, MD, and I joined the department of anesthesiology in 2022 as an interventional pain medicine specialist. I received my bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Elon University and my medical degree at the University of South Florida, where I was valedictorian and a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. I did my residency in emergency medicine at Orlando Health and my fellowship in multidisciplinary pain medicine here at the University of Florida College of Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology.
I am now a UF Health physician focused on chronic pain medicine for the regional anesthesia program at UF Health Pain Medicine – Halifax Health in Daytona Beach, Florida. Prior to my medical training, I received a doctorate in chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, FL, and ran a successful chiropractic business in south Florida. While in practice, I saw people struggle with pain that I was unable to help as a chiropractor. I wanted to affect people on a deeper level, so I went back to medical school and spent the intervening years working to become an expert in minimally invasive spine care which is my true passion.
My previous training has given me a unique perspective on health care, and I strive to combine the best elements of both fields. I approach each patient, not just as a set of random symptoms, but as a person, first and foremost, and I search for the origin of their pain rather than just treating symptoms. Regarding my practice, I have a special interest in treating patients with back pain, neck pain, headaches, joint pain (shoulders, elbows, knees, hips), degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, facet syndrome and sciatica.
I have been heavily involved in research in the past and have written nineteen articles and a book chapter. Most of my research involves the treatment of musculoskeletal and spine-related disorders. I also have a passion for community service, and I have been on four medical mission trips in different locations in the Dominican Republic and Fiji.
In my free time, I love being in the outdoors and enjoy surfing, wakeboarding, rock climbing and traveling. I also really enjoy playing the drums.
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