ASRA Pain Medicine News, May 2024

Editor’s Corner: Starting a New Chapter

May 2, 2024, 06:09 AM by Anthony Machi

Cite as: Machi A. Editor's corner: starting a new chapter. ASRA Pain Medicine News 2024;49.

Anthony MachiWelcome to the Editor’s Corner for the May edition of ASRA Pain Medicine News! It was great to see and share time with many of you in San Diego at the 49th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting chaired by Dr. Ki Jinn Chin from Toronto, Canada. With the theme of “Precise, Practical, Personalized, and Patient-Centered,” it was a fantastic opportunity to examine our current practices, learn about advances occurring in research and clinical practice, and look toward a bright future for our specialty.

As is customary for ASRA Pain Medicine committees, the Newsletter Committee bids adieu to members who have completed their terms and welcomes new members at the time of the Spring Meeting. With that we thank Dr. Dalia Elmofty for her leadership as immediate past-chair of the committee, and welcome Dr. Vivian Ip to this role. Their hard work and efforts guide the newsletter to greater readership, viewership, and quality. While they have guided our committee, it is the multitude of authors, Newsletter Committee members, and especially the associate editors who deliver the excellent product that we all enjoy. For this great team, I am now stepping into the role of editor and want to share with you our vision for the future direction of the newsletter in upcoming cycles.

It is our aim to provide you with an engaging, high-quality product that you will find clinically useful and thought-provoking. We have established series that will continue to serve as the core features, including “How I Do It” (HIDI) for clinical acumen, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” for dialogue on controversies, and “POCUS Spotlight” for advancements in perioperative ultrasound. To these series, you will begin to see regular contributions reflecting new initiatives. The first grouping will reflect our collaborations with sister societies worldwide, including ESRA, LASRA, AFSRA, and AOSRA-PM as well as the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society—Regional Anesthesia Section and with collaborating societies such as SOAP and the ASA. The next group will reflect themes impacting the evolution of our specialty, including artificial intelligence, diversity, and advocacy. 

In this May edition you will find several insightful articles. The first features an examination of the practice of performing diagnostic medial branch blocks prior to radiofrequency ablation, which is a common practice in the treatment of lumbar spondylosis. The article examines fundamental questions: what do we consider a positive block, and what does that mean?

Next is an article evaluating cultural competency training in medical education and how its implementation is invaluable to assuring the best outcomes for all our patients. Following this you can read an article addressing plastics and nanoplastics in our corner of healthcare and how our industry significantly contributes to global pollution. While so much of our practices may be deemed essential or at least necessary, this article asks us how we can do better for our patients and our planet.

This edition also features another installment in the HIDI series. A discussion of the transversalis fascia plane (TFP) block provides insights in how relatively minor adjustments to techniques we well-recognize and perform may improve the application of our procedures. The literature review also highlights an article by Baghirzada et al. investigating TFP block for post operative analgesia after caesarean section.

We also find a great article on peripheral nerve stimulation for acute pain after amputation. A team from Pennsylvania State University shares their insights on and experience with this growing area of interest. The May issue also contains articles addressing artificial intelligence and POCUS and provides an introduction to the new G code, G2211, which will have broad implications for billing and reimbursement for pain physicians.

Last, we bookend our articles with a profile of the upcoming Annual Fall Meeting by the meeting chair, Dr. Christine Hunt. The meeting will occur November 21-23 in Las Vegas, Nevada with the theme “LET’S GO!: Empowering Access and Advocacy in Pain Medicine.” Her enthusiasm for the event jumps off the page and makes me want to book my tickets now!

I will conclude with an invitation to you, the reader, to contribute to the newsletter. We welcome your creativity and initiative! Newsletter articles are peer-reviewed and CrossRef Indexed. High quality is essential. To pitch an idea, please send your thoughts to We also welcome your feedback.

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