Howard Rome

Ph.D., Program Director

Howard Rome, Ph.D.

Dr. Rome is a clinical psychologist with over twenty-five years of experience as a clinician, researcher, and teacher specializing in pain management psychology and injury rehabilitation. After directing interdisciplinary pain programs in San Francisco, Fremont, and Oakland. Dr. Rome joined IPM Medical Group in 2001 to build a state-of-the-art functional restoration program in Walnut Creek.

Dr. Rome completed his doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1986 at the California School of Professional Psychology. He completed a Fellowship in Medical Psychology at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, where through 1991 he served as Director of the Neuropsychology Service. Over the years, Dr. Rome has gained recognition from his colleagues in the pain treatment community locally for his extensive clinical work in interdisciplinary functional restoration, and nationally for his publications and presentations in the area of the neurobiology of pain and emotions.

As EBFR Program Director, Dr. Rome coordinates an interdisciplinary rehabilitation team staffed by physical and occupational therapists, pain psychologists, and pain physicians. His clinical practice includes initial evaluations of EBFR participants, co-leading EBFR’s pain education and coping skills groups, and conducting QME medical-legal evaluations.

The goal of East Bay Functional Restoration is to assist participants in finding pathways to healing, recovery, and independence following painful orthopedic injuries and surgeries. Functional restoration addresses the whole person through an integrated approach that emphasizes four main areas: 1) Safe reconditioning exercises that are carefully paced and supervised by physical therapists and physicians; 2) Psychological, behavioral, and alternative strategies for managing pain and stress; 3) Supervision of the rehabilitation process by pain specialty physicians who help participants find alternatives to over-reliance on medications and medical/surgical treatments; 4) Assist participants in reclaiming active and independent lifestyles.

An important goal of Dr. Rome’s work is to communicate to EBFR participants the two cornerstones of successful rehabilitation: that it is necessary to find the willpower and stamina to do safe exercise even with pain; and the courage and frame-of-mind to overcome the frustrations and stresses that accompany disabling injuries. Each participant must ultimately look within herself and himself to find the strength to succeed. This effort is often challenging at first, but the long-term benefits are worth it, and the pathway back to health is greatly assisted by the guidance and meaningful support of a knowledgeable Treatment Team.