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Meet Our Medical Providers

We live and practice in Bakersfield. Our doctors are truly a part of the community and care about each patient individually. At the Paint Institute of Central California you are more than just a patient, you are a friend.

Arturo Palencia, MD

Dr. Arturo Palencia is a Southern California native who began his education by attending and graduating from the Universtiy of California, Riverside with a degree in Biochemistry.  He graduated from medical school at the University of California, San Diego in 1992 and, subsequently, completed his Anesthesiology residency at the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center. Following residency, Dr. Palencia completed his Pain Management fellowship in Beverly Hills with Dr. Hymes before moving to Bakersfield in 1998.  He has practiced Pain Management since 1999 and eventually founded Pain Institute of Central California.


Pain Institute of Central California was founded on the belief that pain management should be centered on providing chronic pain patients with high-quality care, while correctly making diagnoses to prevent unnecessary surgeries. Pain management is not a patient's a final option.  By discerning the sources of a patient's pain, Dr. Palencia has been able to help many patients understand the origins and causes of their pain.  Dr. Palencia uses diagnostic procedures such as sacroiliac joint injections and medial branch blocks, along with radiologic studies and nerve conduction studies, to create a comprehensive picture of patients' problems.  He uses a multi-disciplinary approach including medical management, therapeutic injections, lifestyle change, and physical therapy.


For the past 3 ½ years, Dr. Palencia has been focusing more of his attention to Regenerative Medicine.  He has trained with many of the world leaders in this exciting new medical field, such as Dr. Joseph Purita and Dr. Rahul Desai.  Regenerative Medicine uses the patient’s own body to heal itself without the need of any drugs or chemicals.  Dr. Palencia strongly believes that Regenerative Medicine through the use of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) and Stem cells, has started to revolutionize Pain Management.  He has treated patients using Regenerative Medicine with amazing results.  Successful treatments include procedures injecting PRP in the knee, hip, shoulder, sacroiliac joint, piriformis muscle, facet joints, TMJ.  He has also had wonderful results with both Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow.  Many of the patients he has treated were planning to have surgery for their conditions, but no longer required it. He is constantly studying to improve his craft and can be demanding of his patients.  He has been frequently heard saying, “My job is to fix you and hopefully never see you in these walls again”.

Carmen Fisher, MD

Dr. Carmen Fischer began her journey in assisting patients with chronic pain conditions by specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She graduated from Washington University in St Louis in 2004, and then completed a Pain and Interventional Spine fellowship at the Cedars Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders. Apart from being Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dr. Fischer is also Board Certified in Pain Medicine by the American Board of Anesthesiology. As such, she brings a wealth of knowledge to accurately diagnose the source of her patients’ pain here at Pain Institute of Central California.


Dr. Fischer joined Pain Institute of Central California in 2007 and has been relieving pain and restoring lives ever since. She believes in taking the necessary time to not only establish a diagnosis, but also to develop a treatment plan custom-tailored to the unique needs of each individual. She is a firm believer that “every patient is different and should be treated as a whole”. Dr. Fischer also encourages her patients to take a proactive role in their road to improving their quality of life. In her free time, Dr. Fischer enjoys travelling and experiencing all the beauty this world has to offer.

Kris Isenman, PA-C

Kris is a NCCPA nationally board-certified and state-licensed Physician Assistant with over 19 years of clinical experience. She graduated from the Physician Assistant Program at Western University of Health Sciences in 1997 and joined us here at Pain Institute of Central California in 2007.


Kris’ proficient and skilled assessments of patients’ chronic pain conditions complement the work of the Pain Management physicians here at the Pain Institute of Central California. Here extensive knowledge of interventional pain treatments and her compassionate care for our patients have been invaluable assets. An avid baseball fan, Kris roots for the St. Louis Cardinals and enjoys reading in her free time.

Michelle Hartshorn, NP

Michelle Hartshorn is a Nurse Practitioner Board Certified in Adult –Gerontology Acute Care practice. She joins the Pain Institute of Central California with 20 years of experience. Over the past 7 years Michelle served patients with acute and chronic neurologic emergencies including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord compression, acute spine fracture, and other disorders of the brain and spine. Michelle enjoys getting to know her patients and helping them regain a healthy rhythm of life while working to achieve their health and wellness goals. Michelle is a native of Bakersfield. She is married and has two children. She is passionate about her family, work, and service to the community.


Pain Institute of Central CA 9802 Stockdale Hwy #105,

Bakersfield, CA 93311




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