President’s Message: Here’s Why Newer Practitioners Should Join the ASRA Pain Medicine Family
Cite as: Narouze S. President's message: here's why newer practitioners should join the ASRA Pain Medicine family. ASRA Pain Medicine News 2022;47. https://doi.org/10.52211/asra020122.001.
When I was younger and newer to the field of pain medicine, I remember being rather amazed at the number of societies that focused on pain – and frankly, the number has grown even higher over the years. Whether your focus is on regional anesthesia and acute pain, or you are a chronic pain specialist, you probably can relate to some level of confusion regarding what distinguishes one pain society from another.
I admit, when I was a younger doctor, I wanted to get involved with organizations not only to expand my knowledge and network, but also to promote myself as an informed and respected physician. I became involved with several organizations and was able to infer some subtle and big differences. Frankly, some were more inviting than others. Some focused more on patients or advocacy, while others focused on medical management or interventions for chronic pain. In recent years, some have dissolved while new ones have sprouted up. Some are more welcoming and open, while others seem more exclusive.
With opportunities to find a valuable professional network, research and publish, and learn directly from some of the most experienced and devoted professionals practicing today, ASRA Pain Medicine is the community that will expand younger and newer professionals’ opportunities and help them to pursue the interdisciplinary practice that delivers excellent patient care.
As an organization dedicated to the entire spectrum of pain, ASRA Pain Medicine has given a great deal of consideration to these distinctions and where we want to be in this crowded field. At the Board level, we regularly discuss what makes ASRA Pain Medicine different and how can we connect the interdisciplinary and heterogenous group of people who have many goals but ultimately are unequivocal about their commitment to relieving patients’ pain.
The answers to these questions are multifaceted. For starters, at ASRA Pain Medicine, providing unbiased, evidence-based information is the most important factor in developing programs, products, and opportunities. ASRA Pain Medicine has had to refuse some funding because it could have jeopardized our commitment to integrity. Our continuing education accreditation is predicated on avoiding bias and conflicts of interest. You can read more about our CME guidelines here.
This is not to say that industry-supported content is unreliable or biased. On the contrary, many industry partners provide very helpful and informative programs, and a great deal of scientific discoveries would not happen without industry support. The key is that, as a provider of education, our funding is managed and reported without ambiguity. Learners can feel confident knowing that ASRA Pain Medicine CME content is presented only with a commitment to unbiased, evidence-based information. Non-CME programs that are made possible with industry support are fully identifiable as such.
Furthermore, ASRA Pain Medicine is dedicated to being inclusive – a critical component of addressing the entire spectrum of pain. Not only do we value individual differences, but we celebrate such differences. We also warmly include people from across different disciplines. At our meetings, you will find neurologists and physiatrists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as well as anesthesiologists, with specializations beyond even the 25 topics we address in our special interest groups. With seasoned pros, dynamic and enthusiastic younger members, and everyone in between, our community's shared perspectives and experiences help guide more innovative, integrated, and effective pain management practices for all.
Whether you are a newer provider or you work with those coming up in the ranks, recognize that they may experience a similar struggle finding their professional home and determining which societies best fit their style and interests. When this happens, share why ASRA Pain Medicine combines the scholarly with the fun. Our commitment to residents and other emerging pain medicine professionals is focused on teaching the best methods that yield the safest outcomes for patients. With opportunities to find a valuable professional network, research and publish, and learn directly from some of the most experienced and devoted professionals practicing today, ASRA Pain Medicine is the community that will expand younger and newer professionals’ opportunities and help them to pursue the interdisciplinary practice that delivers excellent patient care.
Our commitment to newer/younger practitioners is exemplified through a number of exciting programs such as our Early-Stage Investigator and Graduate Student grants, specifically geared toward newer investigators and those just breaking into the research field. Our new Excellence in Education Award honors those dedicated to education.
The Resident Section Committee allows residents to work together to develop products and improve experiences for their colleagues; they’ve got some great programming too, like free Hot Topics webinars and Problem-Based Learning Discussions.
For those a little further along in their careers, the ASRA Pain Medicine Member Spotlight showcases a member each month who has worked tirelessly for the field but rarely gets the recognition and spotlight shown. Check it out and nominate someone today!
What else can ASRA Pain Medicine do to attract and retain newer, younger members? How can we all be more inclusive with the next generation of providers? You tell us! Together, we are committed to the future of our practice and working together – across stages and fields – for the benefit of our patients. Let’s remain committed to those high standards together and one day relieve the global burden of pain.