Editor's Message: On the Precipice of Magic
The year 2020 has been shrouded in shadows and marked by a series of challenges and setbacks on the national and international stage. These difficulties are, unfortunately, all too well known to all of us involved in the medical care of patients impacted by the pandemic, witnessing unrest in our communities, or thrust into the role of educator for our children. As an organization, ASRA has certainly not been immune to the impact of these global events, and there has been a profound impact on what me might normally expect to encounter through our ASRA membership.
At the time of this publication, ASRA has been compelled in 2020 to pivot and cancel or transition multiple meetings to a virtual format. However, in this transition we have been presented with the opportunity to increase the number of faculty able to “attend” our meetings and interact in a forum where all types of pain management providers are able to unite and learn together at a single event. Where there might have been despair, there is now a recognition that the talent possessed within our profession and organization is uniquely equipped to adapt to our current reality and plan for an eventual return to normalcy.
A brief scan of the ASRA website reveals some of the “impossible” work that your incredible colleagues have been doing. The number of special interest groups (SIGS) has increased dramatically, and each provides a “home” for ASRA members with varied interests and passions. The newly created mentorship program is available and working to match mentors and mentees and ultimately advance the careers of all who are involved. In ASRA Connect, members from around the world are able to collaborate on the care of patients by providing experience and advice. In this edition of the ASRA News, colleagues from around the world have contributed content and distilled their wisdom into a series of incredibly helpful “How I do it” articles that focus on both acute and chronic pain procedures. The February ASRA News will take a deeper dive into the opioid epidemic and what we are equipped to do to diminish the impact of this tragedy. The sheer notion that our fall meeting will even occur is a testament to the great attitude and will of ASRA leadership, staff and membership.
What I hope for all of you - my friends - is that, in this time of uncertainty, we are collectively able to hold on to the notion that there is a beautiful tomorrow in the not too distant future. To navigate to that beautiful tomorrow, I would ask all of you to do what you can to ensure the continued success and greatness of ASRA. Make sure that you renew your membership or become a member for the first time. Register for the fall meeting – it is going to be great and will be made greater by your active involvement. Become involved with a SIG or create a new one that engages ASRA members and improves patient care. Follow our social media ambassadors on Twitter for daily doses of inspiration and updates on cutting edge pain management techniques. If you have ideas for ASRA News content or authors, please submit your suggestions and let your voice be heard (ASRAEditor@asra.com).
For me, a beautiful tomorrow includes the spring annual meeting at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL May 2021, and this conference, in particular, has been circled on my calendar for years. These 39 square miles have afforded my family with countless cherished memories, and I am certain that it will do the same for all of you. So, while you enjoy the virtual fall meeting – and it is going to be great - make certain that you are preparing for spring by collecting your challenging cases, completing research and QI projects, and requesting time off. I look forward to seeing all of you there and please feel free to reach out if you have any Disney related travel questions (so much of the fun is in the planning).