An International Perspective from the Philippines

March 8, 2009

by Marie Belle Francia, M.D., M.S.
As an Internist and future Oncologist, pain assessment and management will play a vital role in my practice. That said, one issue I’ve come to realize based on personal experience and discussions with other practitioners is that the field of pain management often receives a disproportionately lower emphasis and share of investment in training programs. This issue is magnified in developing countries (like the Philippines where I will be practicing long term) where latest treatment may sometimes not be available or patients may not be able to afford. This is one of the primary reasons why I pursued the Master of Science in Pain Education, Research and Policy (MS-PREP) at Tufts University School of Medicine.
MS-PREP is a pioneering program that provides students with a solid foundation on the multi-faceted nature of pain. The multidisciplinary nature of the program encourages healthcare professionals to view pain from a broader perspective, seeing pain not as disease but as an illness where quality of life can be a therapeutic goal. The program equips students with knowledge on the molecular mechanism of pain to strategies in enabling changes in society. It has inspired me and my fellow students to search for gaps in knowledge and further contribute to the broader research agenda.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1.    Sherry Brink  |  March 25th, 2009 at 6:23 PM

    I have been to the Philippines with Medical Missions for Children to provide post-op care to cleft repairs. The nursing staff at the hospital were very open to the treatment of pain in their patients. I could tell that this is an area which has not been explored well, but the eagerness to understand and treat these patients was commendable. I can see that Marie Belle will have a willing audience for all she has to offer.

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