Andrea Nicol, MD, Chair, Scientific/Education Planning Committee

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Scientific/Education Planning Committee, I personally invite you to the 18th Annual Pain Medicine Meeting taking place Thursday, November 14–Saturday, November 16, 2019, at the New Orleans Marriott located right on the edge of NOLA’s French Quarter.

The importance of pain medicine, including clinical care and research, has never been more apparent. From novel pharmaceuticals to cutting-edge interventional techniques to the opioid crisis, qualified pain medicine leaders possess knowledge and skills to lead their patients and health systems with evidence-informed and evidence-based medicine. ASRA leaders and members have embraced this role, through work with the multisociety pain workgroup, to increasing funding available for junior and established researchers, and to participating in safety and appropriateness guidelines, such as guidelines on anticoagulation and ketamine.

This year’s meeting program again features national and international experts in the field of pain medicine. Highlighted sessions include novel opioid targets, alcohol use in chronic pain, advances in advanced interventional care, and treating patients with challenging conditions, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and headache. There will be additional input from NIH-funded researchers and pain medicine professionals who lead outside the clinic or lab through entrepreneurship, advocacy, and pain journalism. Finally, a session entitled “Stronger Together: The Future of Pain Medicine” will close the meeting and will be preceded by the Saturday award luncheon with the John J. Bonica Award Lecture.

In addition to the didactic sessions, you will have the opportunity to attend many hands-on workshops in areas of ultrasound and fluoroscopy including radiofrequency ablation techniques, regenerative medicine, advanced interventional techniques (vertebroplasty, percutaneous spine decompression), and surgical practicums. The highly popular musculoskeletal and pain medicine ultrasound workshops, first demonstrated at ASRA and continuously evolving to meet learner needs, will continue to offer a multi-staged curriculum for obtaining ASRA’s Pain and MSK Interventional Ultrasound Certificate. Also, the ASA/ASRA practice management sessions are designed for interactive discussion on key aspects of coding/compliance, managing a variety of pain practice settings, and issues pertaining to patient retention and risk management. These sessions are truly a must for both physician leaders and practice management specialists.

We acknowledge and affirm the importance of non-physician providers in our busy healthcare system and continue to be excited about the growth of this aspect in our program. In addition to the dedicated PA/NP/Nursing program, participants also have the opportunity to attend targeted interactive sessions on intrathecal therapies, professional development, diagnostic imaging and electrodiagnostics, and the incredibly popular hands-on physical and neurological exam workshop.

In addition to the traditional sessions, abstract submissions, moderated ePosters, and problem-based learning discussions (PBLDs), we are excited to introduce ASRA’s first ever Data Blitz, where trainees and junior faculty can present late-breaking and exciting research and interact directly with the internationally recognized translational and clinical researchers in an informal, relaxed, and fun setting!

And plan to stay for the Saturday evening celebration where faculty and participants can relax together, enjoy the wonderful entertainment, and “Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler” (“Let the Good Times Roll”)!

I look forward to seeing you in the Big Easy!


Andrea Nicol, MD

Chair, Scientific/Education Planning Committee