NEW ORLEANS — Two of the most important central components of military success, are the concepts of command and control.

In a sense, both of those military concepts are just as important in the human body. The spinal cord sends motor commands and sensory information from the brain throughout the body. However, if that center of command is compromised, chaos and pain can be the result. According to the CDC, lower back pain causes more disability around the world than any other condition to approximately a quarter of the U.S. population. 16 million adults in the country suffer from chronic back pain.

Bayou Pain & Spine, LLC is one of the largest private medical clinics in Louisiana that is owned by a person of color and a veteran. Dr. Artemus Flagg’s practice serves the greater community and is also in service to quite a large clientele of veterans. Dr. Flagg is a veteran himself. His calm bedside manor and capacity of service is long-standing from his experience in the military.

“You have to be vigilant.  You have to be able to multitask.  You have to be able to listen.  The bedside manners are important and you have to be able to communicate. The interaction I have with the veterans, that is what is key.  It’s the interaction, talking to them, taking care of them, listening to them and sharing stories.  I was a flight surgeon for the U.S. army and my last duty station was the Pentagan and also a Brigade Flight Surgeon for the first air cavalry Brigade out of Fort Hood Texas,” says Dr. Flagg.

According to the CDC, Veterans are in some of the age groups that are twice as likely to suffer from chronic pain. 12 people work at Bayou Pain and Spine, including Tara Buchaske, who is a nurse with a son in the military. Her son is in part, what inspires her to provide care for those who come in to the office.


“All of are Veterans have done different things for us. They’ve been to different places.  It’s all to benefit us in some sort of way,” says Buchaske.

Dr. Flagg says he’s committed serving those in his area and says that is something, he’ll continue to do for the rest of his life, saying, “It’s what we do and it’s part of me being who I am.  I think some people are just born and called to do certain things.  This is my calling.”