Archive for April, 2015

A Conversation with Dr. Beth Murinson, Director of Pain Education at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

By Pamela Katz Ressler, MS, RN, HN-BC, Faculty, Pain Research, Education and Policy (PREP) Tufts University School of Medicine

The Pain Research, Education and Policy Program is looking forward to welcoming guest lecturer, Dr.Dr Beth Murinson Beth Murinson, Director of Pain Education at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Co-Chief of the Chronic Pain Program at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Washington, DC on Wednesday, April 8, from 4-5 PM (DuBlois Auditorium, Sackler Building, 145 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA).  Dr. Murinson, a distinguished  thought leader in the area of pain education, will be speaking on the topic of “Expertise, Skillfulness and Professional Comportmant: Preparing Trainees for Clinical Effectiveness in Pain Care”.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Murinson about her thoughts on the need for creation of robust interdisciplinary models of pain education.

Pamela Ressler (PR): “What are we doing well and what might be improved in educating new clinicians in treating pain?”

Dr. Beth Murinson (BM): “Educating new clinicians in treating pain starts with the fundamentals of clinical assessment but needs to be augmented with several important concepts, including the multi-dimensional impact of pain, e.g. social, functional, sleep quality, etc.; the importance of assessing and re-assessing for efficacy; developing capacity as a clinician to deliver care that is attuned to the natural history of specific pain-associated conditions, e.g. recognizing and anticipating the difference between ligamentous strain and nerve injury; as well as consistently providing care that is compassionate and patient-centered, e.g. responding to patient’s report of pain with the utmost seriousness and empathy while not being incapacitated or hardened by high levels of self-reported pain; and finally demanding of ourselves and others the development of comprehensive, multi-modal treatment plans for those devastated by treatment-resistant chronic pain.”

PR:How can the interdisciplinary nature of pain management be brought into medical education?”

BM:The interdisciplinary and interprofessional nature of pain management brings several opportunities for advances in step with recent developments in medical education: development of teaching teams that are interprofessional, the creation of curricular innovations that bring together students from different health professions programs, and the exposure of trainees to clinical settings where physicians of different disciplines as well as different types of health professionals are working together collaboratively. Although the current mantra is ‘assessment drives learning’, the reality is that the most enduring lessons that most of us absorb are those of the enlightening example: both positive and negative role models, as well as especially insightful teachers give us the most important and durable guidance in our careers.”
PR:How can we be change agents in pain education?”

BM:The study of change is a field in itself and merits study by those of us wishing to foment a positive revolution. Perhaps Gandhi said it best: “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” But change is most often the result of sustained, positive effort. Few people realize that Charles Darwin’s grandfather Erasmus actually had a well-developed theory of neuroembryologic phylogeny. In recent years he has been acknowledged as the founder of evolutionary biology popularly credited to his grandson Charles. In short, we must demand of ourselves a long-range vision, but maintain nimble readiness to innovate and insert curricula at a moments notice. Consistently reflective, eloquent advocacy with policy makers, institutional and national leadership is also essential. Know what you need to say and be ready to say it: ‘Why do you need time in the curriculum?’ ‘How will this improve care?’ and ‘Are you updated on trends in general medical education and prepared to deliver curriculum that is timely and effective?'”

The conversation is happening in this field, will you be a part of it?  Please join us on Wednesday, April 8, 4-5 PM at the DuBlois Auditorium to continue the dialogue with Dr. Murinson and the PREP program students, alumni and faculty.

Add comment April 7th, 2015


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