Hi I am Olga Pinkston, MD.
I am a board-certified Rheumatologist. I diagnose and treat rheumatologic and autoimmune conditions. I treat all types of arthritis, lupus, inflammatory myopathies, vasculitis, and other rare autoimmune conditions. In my practice, I use up-to-date evidence-based medicine, but also strive to create meaningful relationships with my patients and use a holistic approach to heal and preserve the functions of everyday life.
My journey into medicine began as a young child. I grew up in the Soviet Union, and immigrated with my family as refugees to Louisville, KY in 1992.
Both my mother and paternal grandmother were physicians. Some of my earliest memories are that of watching them heartfully tend to their patients. I learned firsthand that women are healers and that the most powerful medicine of all is that which combines both science and inner knowledge. I was in awe of them, and I remember the overwhelming feeling in my heart that a path in medicine was also my destiny.
I graduated high school in the US and had to decide on a career. My family and I had a limiting belief that a refugee with an accent will never get accepted into a U.S. medical school. Instead, I pursued and earned a degree in Engineering Mathematics and Computer Science. I am grateful for this time in my life as I learned many valuable skills and met my husband the first day in college. We both were in the same program, shared classes, and college life. He made my college experience tolerable, but I still grieved over the choice of not pursuing medicine. I successfully worked through my 20s in the Information Technologies field, until I finally decided to pursue my dream of becoming a physician.
Throughout my internal medicine residency and fellowship, I encountered many diverse and challenging rheumatologic conditions. Challenging disorders bring out the analytical engineer in me; I enjoy solving complex problems. But being an older student, a mother, and a wife, along with the passion for holistic care, helped me to be more comfortable in treating and counseling patients with depression, anxiety, or pain, common comorbidities in patients with rheumatic diseases.
At the beginning of my rheumatology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, I started to encounter patients with fibromyalgia. Sure, I was exposed to fibro during my earlier studies, but it was not until I purposely studied it during my rheumatology training that I developed a deeper understanding of this condition. As I listened to patient’s stories, their symptoms, and daily struggles, I recognized the deficiencies of the modern fibro care.
I believe fibromyalgia treatment requires a comprehensive, holistic approach which includes working with a physician, but also integrates wellness and coaching.
Since my fellowship, I continued to educate myself on the treatment of fibromyalgia. I studied the chronic pain management, cognitive behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, pain reprocessing therapy, nutrition, and alternative therapies.
The three parts of fibro treatment I focus on are education, self-care, and pain control. I incorporate the mind and body approach, as the body, mind, emotions, spirit, and pain are interrelated. Fibro patients need to be supported with an integrative treatment that includes stress reduction, emotional wellbeing, nutrition, and exercise.
The goals of the program I advocate for my patients are to learn, heal, and to improve their quality of life.
University of Louisville Medical School
University of Louisville Internal Medicine Residency Program
Mayo Clinic Rheumatology Fellowship Program
Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology
Certified Life Coach –the Life Coach School
BS in Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (University of Louisville J.B. Speed School of Engineering)