President’s Message: Working for You, Advancing the Field
Cite as: Narouze S. President's message: working for you, advancing the field.ASRA Pain Medicine News 2022;47. https://doi.org/10.52211/asra020123.001
This marks my last newsletter message as the president of ASRA Pain Medicine, as Dr. David Provenzano will assume the role of president after the 48th Annual Regional Anesthesiology & Acute Pain Medicine Meeting this coming April. It’s an appropriate time for reflection, so I hope you will allow me a moment to share what I’ve learned and how the organization has changed and grown over the past two years.
As is so often the case, the years seem to have gone quickly; however, there were many long days. I was sworn in as president at what was the first in-person meeting after the COVID-19 lockdown. We were in Orlando, FL, for the 2021 spring meeting, and Disney World® had just dropped its outdoor mask mandate. At the time we were quite hopeful, but, of course, COVID has continued to spread and mutate, causing more challenges on a global scale. During this challenging time, the ASRA Pain Medicine Board has had many conversations about how to support its members, adjust to changing systems and financial issues, and deal with burnout and work-life balance. We also recognized how important networking and connections continue to be for our members whether in-person or virtual. We launched several mentorship programs, including the implementation of the Mentor Match Program, which has had nearly 250 participants since its launch.
We also continued to build opportunities for trainees and medical students to support the next generation of practitioners. New in 2023, all medical students' memberships and annual meeting registrations are now free. We have been engaged in a highly successful collaboration with the Association of Pain Program Directors for a few years and are now formally collaborating with the regional anesthesia and acute pain medicine fellowship directors to build a similar system to support fellows throughout their education and development.
Prior to assuming office, I had already begun work with a task force to rebrand the organization to better reflect our work across the entire pain spectrum. Although many of our members work exclusively in acute or chronic pain, we’ve seen a broadening of roles and collaboration aimed at reducing pain across all stages of care. In response to this, we are offering some acute pain content at our fall meeting and some traditionally chronic pain techniques at our spring meeting. I am confident that, working together, acute and chronic pain practitioners can find solutions that treat and prevent pain for all of our patients. I am proud of this work and look forward to seeing it continue to build.
One particularly exciting advancement that has been made during my presidency is that ASRA Pain Medicine is now officially recognized by the American Medical Association so that we now have representation in the House of Delegates and on the Current Procedural Technology (CPT®) and Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC). This important step allows ASRA Pain Medicine to advocate for the safe and effective care that you provide to be properly valued so that patients receive the best care possible and you are properly compensated.
ASRA Pain Medicine has also developed a number of different guidelines over the past couple of years. This is a core function of the organization and something we can only do with your support. The following guidelines and recommendations have been published recently or will soon be published in Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine:
- Consensus Guidelines on the Management of the Perioperative Patient on Cannabis and Cannabinoids
- ASRA Pain Medicine Recommendations for Interventional Pain Procedures During Contrast Shortage
- Consensus Practice Guidelines on Interventions for Cervical Spine (Facet) Joint Pain from a Multispecialty International Working Group
- Standardizing Nomenclature in Regional Anesthesia: An ASRA-ESRA Delphi Consensus Study of Abdominal Wall, Paraspinal, and Chest Wall Blocks
- American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine Expert Panel Recommendations on Point-of-Care Ultrasound Education and Training for Regional Anesthesiologists and Pain Physicians—Part I: Clinical Indications
- American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine Expert Panel Recommendations on Point-of-Care Ultrasound Education and Training for Regional Anesthesiologists and Pain Physicians—Part II: Recommendations
- Practice Recommendations on Neuraxial Anesthesia and Peripheral Nerve Blocks during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Recommendations on Chronic Pain Practice during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Guidelines that are coming soon:
- Evidence-Based Guidelines on Patient Selection and Trial Stimulation for Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy for Chronic Pain
- Consensus practice Guideline on Post-Dural Puncture Headache from a Multi-Society, International Working Group
- Standardizing Nomenclature in Regional Anesthesia: An International Delphi Consensus Study for Extremities
- Practice Advisory on Steroid Injections
- Infection Control Guidelines
- Update to the Regional Anesthesia in the Patient Receiving Antithrombotic or Thrombolytic Therapy
- Plan A Blocks for Pediatrics
ASRA Pain Medicine continues to work to bring programs and services to its members such as providing some of our highly popular “How I Do It” articles in Spanish and canvassing the Web for the “Best” videos showing how to do common acute and chronic pain procedures.
This spring, we will recognize the 100th anniversary of the founding of the original ASRA back in 1923. This organization is not affiliated with the current-day ASRA Pain Medicine, but its work has inspired and supported generations of practitioners who later came to found ASRA Pain Medicine in 1975. During this time of reflection and recognition of our rich history, we also look to an exciting future. To make it all possible, we ask you to consider your own career journey. What do you need from ASRA Pain Medicine? How can we support you? Don't hesitate to let us know by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please consider making a donation to help ensure the highest standards of evidence-based pain management.
Serving as your president for the last two years has been an honor and a pleasure. I have enjoyed meeting so many people, including many younger members beginning their careers and showing incredible passion for learning and supporting our profession. I know that when I pass the gavel on to Dr. Provenzano, the organization will remain in great hands with even more exciting advancements in our future. Although my formal role as president will come to an end, I remain committed to ASRA Pain Medicine and look forward to continuing to support this amazing organization. Thank you for your support!