Paul Thananopavarn, MD

Dr. Than 2015

Bio

Dr. Than completed medical school at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, in 2003. He continued with residency at East Carolina University, Brody School of Medicine, finishing in 2008. He also completed his Medical Acupuncture Certification at UCLA/Helms Medical Acupuncture for Physicians in 2007.

Dr. Than is Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Internal Medicine. He is also Medical Director of Subacute Rehabilitation and Long Term Care at Rex Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center of Apex, as well as Associate Medical Director of the Inpatient Rehabilitation Center at Memorial Hospital. He sub-specializes in rehabilitation of medically complex patients, cancer rehabilitation, geriatric rehabilitation, internal medicine, primary care of patients with disabilities, medical acupuncture, wound care, and musculoskeletal disorders. He provides joint injections and botulinum toxin injections to rehabilitation patients. He has a passion for geriatric rehabilitation, and is a Reynolds Foundation Specialty Faculty Scholar in Geriatrics.

One of the most rewarding aspects of rehabilitation medicine for Dr. Than is the potential to establish true continuity of care. From inpatient rehab, he follows most patients in his outpatient practice, helping them adjust to their disabilities and illnesses. He focuses on the physiatric goals of improving function by finding ways to enhance mobility and self-care skills and providing guidance to caregivers so that his patients are able to live and participate in life to the fullest. He also uses his internal medicine skills by providing primary care to patients with disabilities and performing general medical evaluations as part of UNC's Brain, Body and Health program for retired NFL players who may have suffered traumatic brain injuries. To help with pain and other debilitating conditions, he employs his acupuncture skills to restore health and balance without the use of additional narcotic medications. His ongoing projects and future goals are aimed at making UNC a leader in post-acute care and rehabilitation in the region.

Titles

Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Internal Medicine 
Medical Director of Subacute Rehabilitation and Long Term Care at Rex Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center of Apex
Associate Medical Director of Inpatient Rehabilitation
Internal Medicine Consultant, Brain and Body Health Program for Retired NFL Players

Education

Medical School: Univerisity of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, 1999-2003
Residency: East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine, 2003-2008
Medical Acupuncture: UCLA/Helms Medical Acupuncture for Physicians, 2006-2007

Certifications

American Board of Internal Medicine
American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Sub-Specialties

  • rehabilitation of medically complex patients
  • cancer rehabilitation
  • geriatric rehabilitation
  • internal medicine
  • primary care of patients with disabilities
  • medical acupuncture
  • wound care
  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • joint injections
  • botulinum toxin injections

Recent Honors

Elected Member, Academy of Educators, UNC School of Medicine, 2016-2021
Reynolds Foundation Specialty Faculty Scholar in Geriatrics, 2011
PM&R Teaching Excellence Award, 2014
PM&R Educational Module of the Year Award, 2010
ECU Academic Achievement Award in PM&R, 2008

Publications

Lipscomb-Hudson A, Thananopavarn P, Zinner T. “Rehabilitation in the Elderly” in Reichel's Care of the Elderly, 7th edition, Chapter 44. Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Dearinger M, Thananopavarn P. Hepatic myelopathy as a complication of liver cirrhosis in a patient with autoimmune hepatitis: A case report. PM&R. 2015;7(9): S183.

Baratta JM, Thananopavarn P. Bilateral brachial plexopathies following double lung transplantation: A case report. PM&R. 2014;6(9): S235.

Thananopavarn P, Huang W, Griffths P. Caregiver issues for older adults. PM&R Knowledge Now. 
http:now.aapmr.org. July 2014. 

Sanford T, Thananopavarn P. Complications of blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm resulting in cauda equina: A case report. PM&R. 2013;5(9): S178.

Downs J, Thananopavarn P. Coordinated cancer rehabilitation for a patient with lumbosacral radiculoplexopathy due of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: A Case Report. PM&R. 2013;5(9): S176.

Presentations

"Acupuncture for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation." Workshop Director (with Liu G, Wu H, Yang W, Lee YT): American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Annual Assembly; Boston, MA, Oct. 1-4, 2015.

"Acupuncture as Adjunctive Therapy to Cancer Treatment." Advanced Acupuncture Workshop (with Lee M, Liu G, Wu H, Yang W, Wang D): American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Annual Assembly; Boston, MA, Oct. 1-4, 2015.

"Acupuncture for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation." Workshop (with Lee M, Liu G, Wu H, Yang W) presented American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Annual Assembly; San Diego, CA, Nov. 13-16, 2014.

"Acupuncture for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation." Workshop (with Huang W, Fann A, Lee M, Lee YT, Yang W, Liu G ) presented American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Annual Assembly; Washington, DC, Oct. 3-6, 2013.

"Recovery Audit Contractors." Donald W. Reynolds Foundation Geriatric Scholar's Retreat; Chapel Hill, NC, May 2013.

"Acupuncture for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation." Workshop (with Huang W, Fann A, Lee M, Lee YT, Park J) presented American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Annual Assembly, Atlanta, GA, Nov. 20-23, 2012.

"The Basics of Medicare and Post-Acute Care." Donald W. Reynolds Foundation Geriatric Scholar's Retreat: Pinehurst NC, May 2012.

"Geriatric Rehabilitation." Presented at the Regional AHEC Conference for Internal Medicine, Greensboro, NC, September, 2011. Also presented at the University of North Carolina, PM&R, August 2011.

Current Memberships

American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
American College of Physicians