President's Message - ASRA Pain Medicine: Acute and Chronic Pain – This is YOUR Home

Nov 1, 2021, 05:30 AM by Samer Narouze, MD, PhD

Dr. Samer Narouze

Cite as: Narouze S. President's message - ASRA Pain Medicine: acute and chronic pain – this is YOUR home. ASRA News 2021;46.  

ASRA has historically had two rather distinct audiences. Those who practice exclusively in regional anesthesia and acute pain, and for whom the original American Society of Regional Anesthesia was named, represent more than half of our membership. Those who practice chronic pain, and who were recognized when we changed to the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine in 1998, represent a little more than a quarter of our membership.

ASRA Pain Medicine brings together healthcare professionals devoted to pain management from across the healthcare profession. 

However, the fastest growing segment of our membership are those who identify with and have interest in both specialties. In fact, as our field continues to evolve, we understand more the important connection that acute pain may have on outcomes down the road. We know that the regional anesthesia procedures a chronic pain patient receives in the perioperative period can affect the time it takes to return to normal function and the level of function experienced postoperatively. By understanding each aspect of the pain trajectory, we can work together to improve short- and long-term outcomes and put a dent in the numbers of people living today with chronic pain. As a society, our vision is just that – to reduce the global burden of pain.

In the latest issue of Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine (RAPM), ASRA News Committee Chair Kristopher M. Schroeder, MD, RAPM Editor-in-Chief Brian D. Sites, MD, and I authored an article titled “ASRA Pain Medicine: An Established Society with an Updated Vision.” In the article, we describe the history of ASRA and the evolution of our practices.

As stated in the editorial, “We strongly believe that as the silos between these pain management groups dissolve and collaboration increases, patients’ experiences and outcomes will concomitantly improve.” Furthermore, we believe that our future lies in interdisciplinary cooperation as we expand beyond anesthesiology to other members of the pain management team including physiatrists, neurologists, psychiatrists, and more. By working together, employing coordinated and interdisciplinary care as well as knowledge, experience, and technical skill, we can optimize care for our complex pain patients.

Recognizing this evolution, the ASRA Board has been concerned about the abbreviated form of our name – by simply referring to ourselves as “ASRA,” we are short-changing the pain medicine component of our group. Yet, we also recognize the strong brand identity and loyalty members have to our original regional anesthesia base. To truly represent and reflect our diverse membership, we have officially adopted a new “nickname”: ASRA Pain Medicine.

ASRA Pain Medicine brings together healthcare professionals devoted to pain management from across the healthcare profession. We advance how pain medicine is taught, researched, and practiced throughout the pain continuum, including acute, perioperative, transitional, chronic, and return to normal functioning. As ASRA Pain Medicine considers its role in the future of the profession, we look forward to bringing new voices and perspectives to our member dialogue, so we can work together toward global pain relief.

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