Let the Good Times Roll with ASRA in the Big Easy!

Aug 6, 2019, 16:34 PM by Andrea Nicol, MD, MSc

Canal Street, New Orleans

Preparations are under way for the 18th Annual Pain Medicine Meeting, taking place November 14-16, 2019, at the New Orleans Marriott, just steps from the lively French Quarter in historic New Orleans, Louisiana. We, as a society, are coming off of an insurmountable momentum after the recent 44th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting, which set records in terms of attendance and innovative educational content, and it was without a doubt one of the most notable meetings in terms of ingenuity, novel collaborations, and fun! It is our goal to build on that success with the 2019 Pain Medicine Meeting, by offering a program purposefully created around the theme of “Stronger Together,” with content that highlights the utmost importance of collaboration, translational science, and multidisciplinary care for the current state and future of our specialty.

Fresh Faces and a Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

The field of pain medicine has continued to grow exponentially over the past few years with new technologies, procedures, and care guidelines. Within this time, the ASRA membership has continued to grow at the same rapid pace. With this growth in membership, we have an amazing expansion in the depth and breadth of clinical and research expertise. With this in mind, and focusing on the desires of the general membership, the program has been meticulously crafted to include a cadre of fresh faces through new full and associate faculty, and they will be seen in every corner of the meeting rooms, from the main podium to problem-based learning discussions. Furthermore – just as the director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, recently opined in his piece in the New York Times – ASRA is fully devoted to creating and promoting a conference that focuses on what makes us stronger together, our diverse membership! Along with Dr. Collins, we hope that “manels” will become a thing of the past, as this year’s program focuses on promoting sex, gender, racial, and ethnic diversity to the clinical and scientific knowledge that will be given over the three-day conference.

Keynote Speakers

We are thrilled to announce high-profile guest lecturers. Drs. Gina Votta-Velis, Pamela Palmer, Padma Gulur, and Stephani Sutherland will provide their experiences in how they translate their expertise to the field of pain medicine beyond a typical clinical or laboratory sphere. Through Ted Talk-style plenary sessions, they will share how being a clinician scientist, entrepreneur, policymaker, and journalist all have allowed them to influence and contribute to the field of pain medicine outside of the clinic or laboratory. We are thrilled to have Dr. Erica Howe, a nationally renowned speaker, joining us to give lectures on medical education and personal safety in pain clinics and provide ASRA’s first ever half-day professional development session, focused on interactive lectures and roundtable discussions on negotiation, conflict resolution, and setting goals to achieve what you want out of your professional and academic career.  Dr. Michael Weinstein, a highly renowned orthopedic surgeon and New England Journal of Medicine author, has been confirmed to share with our membership his experiences related to physician burnout in what will no doubt be an inspiring and thought-provoking plenary session entitled “Primum Non Nocere – It Goes Both Ways.”  Finally, Drs. Robert Hurley, Tina Doshi, Meredith Adams, and Chad Brummett will close the meeting out with the final plenary session entitled “Stronger Together: The Future of Pain Medicine,” where we hope you will become inspired, enlightened, and driven to change and improve our continually burgeoning field. Dr. Nagy Mekhail will be honored at the Excellence in ASRA Awards Luncheon with the Bonica Award for his contributions to science and clinical care, particularly in the areas of interventional pain management.

ASRA is fully devoted to creating and promoting a conference that focuses on what makes us stronger together, our diverse membership! 

In whole, these keynote speakers will complement an outstanding line-up of internationally renowned ASRA faculty. We are also proud to welcome speakers from diverse specialties, including neurosurgery, rheumatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, neuroscience, and psychology.

Highlighted Program Content

Refresher courses will cover the latest updates on novel opioid targets, postsurgical pain syndromes, radiofrequency ablation, and a highly innovative panel on alcohol use in chronic pain. An expansive array of parallel sessions will hit on multiple notable areas, including a special session titled “Neurostimulation and Advanced Interventional Pain Treatments: 2019.” Other cutting-edge sessions will discuss regenerative medicine, centralized pain syndromes, pediatric and adolescent pain, buprenorphine, stress and wellness, nonopioid addiction issues, and headache pain medicine.

Twenty problem-based, lunch-and-learn sessions will allow for relaxed and direct conversation with leading experts on high-value practical topics for the pain provider, such as best practices in neuromodulation, pelvic pain, social media’s influence in education and clinical care, low-dose naltrexone, getting funded for your research, and fibromyalgia.

New Orleans streetcars

Stimulating interactive sessions designed to promote thought-provoking discussions include advanced topics such as a multidisciplinary panel on the role of ketamine and lidocaine infusions for the treatment of chronic pain and the role of cannabis and cannabinoids for chronic pain. The highly attended physical exam skills special session is back by popular demand—but don't miss other exceptional topics on interpreting imaging and electromyography; risk mitigation; leaders in the emerging topics in pain research; and intrathecal drug delivery.

ASRA’s first ever “Data Blitz” will be held – this is an opportunity for residents, fellows, and junior faculty to give a unique, informal, and fun oral presentation on their research and get immediate feedback from an expert panel of pain medicine clinicians and scientists.

The ASRA-ASA Practice Management Portfolio has been extremely popular in the past few years and will provide the latest content on clinical quality measures, quality improvement methods, negotiation, care team models, and various site-of-service practice efficiencies.

To satisfy expansive interests, a variety of ePosters, abstracts, non-CME breakfast and lunch presentations, and excellent exhibit hall booths are readily available.


In addition to the main meeting sessions, you will have the opportunity to attend many hands-on workshops for ultrasonography and fluoroscopy. The highly popular ultrasound workshops offer a multistaged curriculum that prepares individuals interested in pursuing the Pain and Musculoskeletal Interventional Ultrasound Certificate. Latest techniques in spine augmentation, peripheral nerve treatments, conventional and cooled radiofrequency, regenerative medicine, craniofacial blocks, and neuromodulation are just a small sampling of valuable experiences delivered by world-class faculty at a great price.

Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, and Nursing Program

We realize the importance of nonphysician providers such as physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) in our busy health care system and continue to be excited about the growth of this part of our program. In addition to the dedicated PA/NP/Nursing Program, we will hold the first-ever skills lab where attendees can get hands-on experiential learning in physical and neurologic exam and trigger point injections. Back from 2018, we are including the popular spinal cord stimulator and intrathecal drug delivery system skills lab, and the program will conclude with an excellent panel on the importance of risk stratification and compliance monitoring tools for opioid prescribing therapy. Plus, don't miss the PA/NP/ Nursing Meet and Greet on Friday at 9:45 a.m. in the Exhibit Hall!

Resident and Fellow Program

As was initiated in 2018, residents and fellows are encouraged to attend the main meeting lectures as future colleagues in pain medicine. Returning for 2019, the very popular resident-and fellow-geared procedural workshops on fluoroscopy and ultrasound-guided procedures will fill up early, so register soon. Residents and fellows also have an opportunity to enjoy a beverage while networking with other trainees and members of the Association of Pain Program Directors at the Resident/Fellow and Pain Program Directors Meet and Greet on Friday at 6 p.m.

St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square

Above All – We Are Family and Here to Network and Have Fun!

The New Orleans Marriott is ideally situated just blocks away from the historic French Quarter district of New Orleans. There is a plethora of delectable restaurants, walking tours, historical sites, and parks just a walk or quick ride away to keep you entertained during nonmeeting times!

Meanwhile, don't forget special events like the popular Wine and Bubbly Networking Reception and Exhibit Hall Grand Opening, which will be held on Thursday evening at 5:15 p.m. Finally, plan to stay for the Saturday Annual Meeting Celebration, where faculty and participants can dance the night away, New Orleans style!

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