On behalf of the Scientific/Education Planning Committee, I am delighted to invite you to the 20th Annual Pain Medicine Meeting taking place Thursday, November 18–Saturday, November 20, 2021, in San Francisco, California!
Although pain treatment has been described as a fundamental human right, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of health care. With the pandemic’s strain on resources, it is more important than ever to highlight the epidemiology of chronic pain given its significance in health care spending and resource allocation.
This year’s annual meeting theme, “Pain 2021: A Whole New World,” reflects the changes around health care after the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the meeting, national and international experts and leaders in pain medicine will present and explain rising challenges affecting our specialty due to the pandemic and ways of avoiding and solving such challenges.
In this meeting, we will focus on how innovations and non-standard solutions have helped solve the majority of challenges affecting our specialty, particularly during the pandemic. We will also broaden attendees’ views on future solutions and their effects on our patient population and our different practices, from virtual reality (VR) platform utilization to artificial intelligence (AI) solutions affecting our treatment and patient access. We will also address the need for diversity and gender equality in our field and how that might affect patient care. Sessions focused on wellness and utilization of newer innovations to decrease physician burnout will also be included.
Most importantly, we will emphasize our collaboration with other specialties from the worlds of clinical and basic science working together to advance the field. We will focus not only on collaboration with multiple other clinical specialties but also collaboration with non-clinical specialties (engineers, finance, and software developers) to achieve the best outcomes in the educational, scientific, and clinical realms.
This theme will allow speakers the opportunity to analyze new disrupters in the field and provide a better view and understanding of their effects, whether good or bad, and if they are sustainable and their effects are reproducible in real practice.
In addition to the didactic sessions, you will have the opportunity to attend hands-on fluoroscopic and ultrasound workshops that best fit your needs. Complex and cutting-edge, hands-on sessions will be available as well, including VR workshops, percutaneous joints fusion, and spinal and peripheral nerve stimulation. We’ll address treatments for vertebral pain (eg, basivertebral nerve radiofrequency ablation), metastatic bone radiofrequency ablation, direct/indirect disc decompression procedures, as well as the highly popular musculoskeletal and pain medicine ultrasound workshops, first demonstrated at ASRA and ever evolving to meet learner needs. These workshops continue to offer a multistage curriculum for obtaining ASRA’s Pain and MSK Interventional Ultrasound Certificate.
ASA/ASRA Practice Management Portfolio sessions are designed for interactive discussion on key aspects of coding and compliance, innovations by utilization of AI and virtual clinics, managing a variety of pain practice settings, and issues pertaining to patient retention and risk management. Those sessions are truly a must for both physician leaders and practice management specialists.
We will again offer our dedicated PA/NP/nursing program, which gives participants the opportunity to attend targeted, interactive sessions on intrathecal therapies, acupuncture, complementary /alternative therapies, diagnostic imaging and electrodiagnostics, neurologic exam workshop, and hands-on physical as well as professional development.
This meeting will again offer traditional sessions, abstract submissions, moderated ePosters, and problem-based learning discussions. We are excited to continue the interactive sessions, where we will discuss current hot topics in pain management, such as gene therapy, utilization of AI and VR, and risk mitigations. We also will offer a special session related to developing guidelines for the pain specialty.
Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to network in person with faculty and colleagues at the Welcome Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall and our always popular Saturday Night Celebration as we cap off an outstanding meeting. Network with colleagues on ASRA Connect, our members-only online community, and follow @ASRA_Society on Twitter and Instagram using #ASRAFALL21.
Maged Guirguis, MD
Chair, Scientific/Education Planning Committee 2021