by Pamela Katz Ressler, MS, RN, HN-BC, Faculty, Pain Research, Education and Policy Program and PREP-Aired moderator, Tufts University School of Medicine
Five graduating PREP students took to the lectern on August 10, presenting their capstone projects to an audience of faculty, students, alumni, family and friends. After rigorous study and investigation, each student highlighted their chosen area of interest. While the capstones mark the culmination of matriculation in the PREP program, each of the graduates plan on continuing to expand their capstone projects in the areas of education, policy, and research as they move into their careers.
Congratulations to our newest graduates of the PREP program:
• Susan Neary, DVM
Integrating the Ancient Wisdom of Acupuncture into Modern Medicine: Using Case Studies in Developing CME for the Health Care Team
o Preceptor: Steven Scrivani, DMD
• Felice Indindoli
Gut Instinct: The Need for Guidelines in the Evaluation and Management of Chronic Abdominal Pain in Adolescent Girls
o Preceptor: Lisa Conboy, MA, MS, ScD
• Alexandra vander Baan
Mind Over Matter: The Development of a Pilot Study Combining Acupuncture and Mindfulness
o Preceptor: Maureen Strafford, MD
• Byron Cheng-Han Lu, MAOM
Wear Your Pain on Your Sleeve: Exploration of Fitness Wearables and Pain Tracking
o Preceptor: Pamela Ressler, MS, RN, HN-BC
• Abdulaziz Alfadhel, MD
Strategies that Transform: Toward Development of Electronic Self-Management Care in Chronic Pain Conditions
o Preceptor: Daniel B. Carr, MD
August 11th, 2015
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. 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.
April 7th, 2015
by Pamela Katz Ressler, MS, RN, HN-BC, Faculty, Pain Research, Education and Policy Program (PREP), Tufts University School of Medicine
The Pain Research Education and Policy Program (PREP) invites you to attend an informative talk by Edward Bilsky, PhD on Tuesday, February 25 from 4-5 PM at the Tufts Dental School, 14th floor, 1 Kneeland St, Boston (room 1414, Rachel’s Amphitheater). Dr. Bilsky is the 2014 Recipient of the Patient Advocacy Award from the American Academy of Pain Medicine, and his talk: “Lighting the Song with Sense and Color: an Interprofessional Humanistic Approach to Relieving Pain in America” will provide a springboard to discussion of interdisciplinary pain care. Dr. Bilsky is the Vice President for Research and Scholarship, and a Professor of pharmacology at the University of New England. Additionally, his is the founder and co-director of the Center for Excellence in Neurosciences.
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Bilsky to the Tufts University Health Sciences campus — all are welcome to attend this free event.
Tufts University School of Medicine
Public Health & Professional Degree Programs
Pain Research, Education and Policy Program (PREP) presents:
“Lighting the Song with Sense and Color: an Interprofessional Humanistic Approach to Relieving Pain in America”
Edward Bilsky, PhD
VP for Research & Scholarship, University of New England; Professor, Pharmacology; Founder & Co-Director, Center for Excellence in Neurosciences; 2014 Recipient of Patient Advocacy Award, American Academy of Pain Medicine
When: 4-5 PM, Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Where: Tufts Dental School, 14th Floor
1 Kneeland Street, Boston (corner of Washington St)
Rachel’s Amphitheater (Room 1414)
February 14th, 2014
by Pamela Katz Ressler, MS, RN, HN-BC, Faculty, Pain Research Education and Policy program, Tufts University School of Medicine
Dr. Dan Carr, founder and director of the Tufts Pain Research, Education and Policy program was recently featured in a video posted by PainWeek. Dr. Carr has passionately advocated for interprofessional pain education from the inception of the Tufts PREP program. His keynote address from 2012 PainWeek argues that pain is much more than a biophysical model. Watch Dr. Carr’s 2012 keynote address by clicking here.
Learn more about interprofessional team management of pain by participating in a new course offered by Tufts PREP program this summer (click here). Dan Carr, MD, FADM and Sharon Schwartzberg, EdD, will be co-directors of this relevant and innovative blended learning course. Learn from the leaders in the field of pain, connect and network with other professionals in Boston for one weekend and then return home to learn online. For more information about Tufts’ innovative blended learning courses in the Pain Research, Education and Policy Program, click here.
May 8th, 2013
by Daniel B. Carr, MD, FABPM, FFPMANZCA (Hon.), Director, Pain Research, Education and Policy (PREP) Program, Tufts University School of Medicine
Since its inception in 1999, a single concept has unified PREP’s curriculum and connected its community. This theme is that the study of pain is best accomplished if it is seen as a top-down (i.e., population-based) public health phenomenon as noted in the 2011 IOM Report on Pain. We are fortunate that PREP has always been situated within the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine and grateful that its Chairs and Deans — Harris Berman and Aviva Must — have shared this view and continually encouraged PREP’s growth.
Advances in pain research and education, particularly as informed by the emerging field of social neuroscience, have made PREP’s vision more and more timely. Reflecting the broader pain community’s growing awareness of PREP’s distinctive voice, this year I’ve had the privilege of delivering keynote addresses at congresses of the American Pain Society, the Special Interest Group on Pain Education of the International Association for the Study of Pain, and the American Society of Pain Educators’ PAINWeek. The specifics of each talk differed somewhat but all conveyed PREP’s underlying theme.
In response to requests from attendees at these lectures, I have assembled an interim bibliography to allow anyone interested to become better informed about some of the sources that the PREP program draws upon. Reflecting PREP’s interprofessional, eclectic outlook, many are from the humanities and social sciences, complemented by the biomedical literature. For example, according to the narrator in the novel by Greer, “I do not know what joins the parts of an atom, but it seems what binds one human to another is pain”.
Those who wish to immerse themselves in our curriculum will enroll in a course or one of our certificate or degree programs. Click here to find out more about taking a course. Following the great success this summer of PREP 233 (End of Life and Palliative Care, directed by Pam Ressler) in a blended onsite-online format, our foundational course PREP 230 is the next of our courses to be offered in this format. This fall, PREP 230 will begin on September 28. To reflect exciting advances in the field of pain, we have changed this course’s title from “Neuroanatomy, Neurophysiology and Neuropharmacology of Pain” to “Neuroscience of Pain: from Society to Synapse”. Click here to learn more about this course. As in earlier years it will be directed by Steve Scrivani, who has consistently earned high praise for his meticulous running of this course. Besides his own lectures, over the years Steve has assembled a core group of dedicated, expert faculty to provide students with an unparalleled learning experience.
Click here to access bibliography.
September 5th, 2012
By Pamela Katz Ressler, MS, RN, HN-BC, adjunct faculty, Pain Research, Educationand Policy Program, Tufts University School of Medicine
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced a new multidisciplinary pain program that will be focused on the role of the brain in perceiving, modifying, and managing pain. The program, lead by internationally recognized pain researcher and neuroscientist, Catherine Bushnell, PhD, will be based in the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a part of the National Institutes of Health.
“Dr. Bushnell’s work has profoundly changed the ways in which we understand and study this very important problem,” said NCCAM Director Josephine P. Briggs, M.D. “Under her leadership, this program will continue to work toward the development of better ways to safely and more effectively treat chronic pain, and advance research on the intersection and integration of pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches.”
The NIH announcement of the pain program comes at a critical time in the growing burden of chronic pain in our society. The Institute of Medicine reports that more than 100 million people suffer from chronic pain conditions and nearly $635 billion is spent annually for treatment and lost productivity.
Research projects for the new program will include investigating how chronic pain produces changes in the brain that may modify how the brain reacts to pain medications, such as opioids; as well as exploring factors such as emotion, environment and genetics in pain perception.
The Tufts Pain Research, Education and Policy program faculty and students will look forward to future collaboration with this innovative new program.
Read the July NCCAM Clinical Digest on Chronic Pain and Complementary Health Practices
July 17th, 2012
by Pamela Katz Ressler, MS-PREP, RN, HN-BC, adjunct faculty member Pain Research, Education and Policy Program (PREP) Tufts University School of Medicine, PREP-Aired blog moderator and administrator
The Tufts Pain Research, Education and Policy Program congratulates Dr. Harris Berman on his recent appointment to the position of Dean of the Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Berman, a visionary leader in providing healthcare to populations, has a keen interest in the intersection of public health and medicine. In a recent interview in Tufts Now, Dr. Berman discussed his belief that public health should be a part of medicine, an integral part of how we care for the health of our population. Dr. Berman’s interest in population health and prevention began as a Peace Corps physician in India and continued into his leadership roles of healthcare organizations and academia.
The Tufts Pain Research Education and Policy Program began in 1999 when Dr. Berman held the position of Chair of Tufts’ Department of Public Health and Family Practice (as it was then known). A fellow visionary regarding pain as a public health concern, he welcomed PREP into that department where it has been happily housed ever since, now under the Dean of Public Health and Professional Degree Programs, Dr. Aviva Must.
As we, in the Pain Research, Education and Policy Program move forward in our efforts to address the immense burden of pain globally, we are pleased to have Dr. Harris Berman at the helm of the Tufts University School of Medicine.
October 13th, 2011
by Daniel B. Carr, MD, FABPM, FFPMANZCA (Hon.), Co-Founder and Director of the Pain Research, Education and Policy Program (PREP) at the Tufts University School of Medicine
Each year, September is “Pain Awareness Month” – a time of intense activity for PREP faculty and the entire pain community It is also when PREP’s academic year begins. One key insight connects diverse Pain Awareness activities and PREP’s own vision and mission: PAIN IS A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE, AND PAIN EDUCATION IS A PUBLIC HEALTH IMPERATIVE. Now is a perfect time to step back and place some context around this idea at the heart of not only PREP’s curriculum, but also our entire approach to interprofessional education.
The report issued by the Institute of Medicine earlier this summer – “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education and Research” (ref 1) — is the latest in a series of white papers on pain by governmental and professional groups dating back well over two decades. These include the first US federal clinical practice guideline (ref 2) on any topic, numerous international guidelines (ref 3), and white papers from authoritative sources such as the Mayday Fund (ref 4), the American Academy of Pain Medicine (ref 5), and even the World Health Organization (ref 6). Together, they present steadily accumulating evidence that acute, chronic and cancer-related pain are widely prevalent and exact a major economic and human burden in developed nations and even more so in resource-poor countries. Other common themes include lost opportunities for early intervention to control or prevent the transition from acute to chronic pain, the negative outcomes of undertreated pain, the importance of optimal pain control for patient-centered care, disparities in pain assessment and treatment experienced by minorities and other under-represented groups such as women or those at the extremes of age, and the need “to adopt a population-level prevention and management strategy” (ref 1) for pain. Related to all these is the growing perspective that pain control is a fundamental human right (ref 7) as articulated by Human Rights Watch (ref 8 ) and recently affirmed in the 2010 Declaration of Montreal by delegates to the International Pain Summit (ref 9).
Since its inception in 1999, the Tufts program on pain research, education and policy has been housed in its Department of Public Health and Community Medicine. Although the pain community has long held a consensus that pain is a biopsychosocial phenomenon, most prestigious journal articles and a majority of research funding have emphasized the “bio” end of that word. Thus, the classical Loeser model of pain originates in subcellular nociceptive machinery, then broadens to encompass the experiences of pain and suffering, followed by pain behavior. The Loeser model is an intrinsically individual one.
- (Fig 1. Loeser Model used with permission of Professor John Loeser)
Our program’s framing of pain employs a sociobiological perspective, in keeping with our having been co-founded by a PhD sociologist, Kathy Lasch. Those individuals better able to detect and remember threats to their survival have better odds of propagating their DNA within the collective gene pool. Indeed, within Darwin’s (and more recently, Dawkins’s) “selfish gene” framework, individuals are mere vessels through which genes propagate themselves (ref 10). Whether or not we agree with this view, it sets the stage for interesting discussion by shifting our reference frame to a distinctly supraindividual model of pain. According to PREP’s social model, the experience of pain is still at the core, but to understand it requires research that goes beyond the individual. In human society, research is lost if not translated into education – particularly one that embraces the intersubjective, social and emotional nature of the pain experience. We at PREP are committed to interprofessional education of pain leaders as the most effective way to effect social change – a commitment that led to our program’s specific acknowledgment in the IOM report in its chapter 4, on education. Among recent PREP graduates and applicants we are beginning to see a few exceptional persons who have chosen to spend their careers as policymakers in the important field of pain. I am delighted to see this, because the continuous translation of the benefits of research and education requires ongoing support through enlightened, population-based health policies.
- Fig 2. PREP model
1: Institute of Medicine Report (2011) http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=13172
2: AHCPR clinical practice guideline: acute pain (1992) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK16501/
3: Carr, DB .”The Development of National Guidelines for Pain Control: Synopsis and Commentary”, European Journal of Pain (2001), 5 (Suppl. A) p. 91-98.
4: “A Call to Revolutionize Chronic Pain Care in America: An Opportunity in Health Care Reform”, Mayday Fund (2009) http://www.maydaypainreport.org/docs/A%20Call%20to%20Revolutionize%20Chronic%20Pain%20Care%20in%20America%2003.04.10.pdf
5: Dubois, MY, Gallagher, RM, Lippe, PM. “Pain Medicine Position Paper”, Pain Medicine, vol. 10, issue 6, p. 972-1000, Sept 2009. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1526-4637.2009.00696.x/full
6: World Health Organization press release (Oct 11, 2004) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2004/pr70/en/index.html
7: Brennan, F, Carr, DB, Cousins, M. “Pain Management: A Fundamental Human Right”, Anesthesia & Analgesia, vol. 105, no. 1, p. 205-221, July 2007. http://www.anesthesia-analgesia.org/content/105/1/205.full.pdf+html
8: Human Rights Watch 2009 report http://www.hrw.org/reports/2009/03/02/please-do-not-make-us-suffer-any-more-0
9: Declaration of Montreal 2010 from International Pain Summit http://www.iasp-pain.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Advocacy/DeclarationofMontr233al/default.htm
10: Carr, DB; “What Does Pain Hurt?”, IASP — Pain Clinical Updates, vol. XVIII, issue 3, p. 1-6, July 2009 http://www.iasp-pain.org/AM/AMTemplate.cfm?Section=HOME&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&SECTION=HOME&CONTENTID=9599
September 1st, 2011
by Pamela Katz Ressler, RN, BSN, HN-BC, MS-PREP candidate, PREP-AIRED blog moderator and administrator, Tufts University School of Medicine
Please join the Pain Research Education and Policy Program’s (PREP) faculty, students and alumni for the 2011 Sackler Lecture on Thursday, April 21 at 4 PM in the Tufts Medical Center’s Wolff Auditorium. The PREP program is honored to host Dr. Rollin (Mac) Gallagher, MD, MPH for this year’s lecture. Dr. Gallagher, a prominent expert in the field of pain management, will address the complex pain issues confronting the military in today’s wars and how the VA Health System is managing these from acute injury through rehabilitation. His lecture is entitled: “The Veterans Administration Department of Defense Systems Redesign: Pain Management for Wounded Warriors from Injury to Recovery”.
Dr. Gallagher currently serves as Director of Pain Management, Philadelphia Veteran Affairs Medical Center. He is also Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Anesthesiology and Critical Care and Director for Pain Policy Research and Primary Care, Penn Pain Medicine Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is Editor-in-Chief of Pain Medicine, the official journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, that he has also served as president. He currently serves on the National Pain Management Strategy Coordinating Committee for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
If you cannot join us in person for Dr. Gallagher’s lecture, we will have a link to his recorded lecture posted here next week.
April 19th, 2011
by Pamela Katz Ressler, RN, BSN, HN-BC, MS-PREP candidate, PREP-AIRED moderator and administrator, Tufts University School of Medicine
The Pain Research, Education and Policy Program(PREP) is the first and only multidisciplinary university-based pain curriculum program in the nation. There are numerous reasons to become part of the PREP program: small class sizes, diverse student backgrounds, and expert faculty are a few of the unique qualities of the program. What also sets the PREP program apart is the continued connection with PREP alumni, who are are welcomed and encouraged to remain an integral part of the PREP program.
Here are 4 top reasons for PREP Alumni to return to Tufts:
#4 Meet world renowned speakers and authors:
Please join us to hear two prominent pain experts lecturing in April. Melanie Thernstrom will be speaking about her acclaimed book, The Pain Chronicles on April 12, 2011 at 4pm in the Wolff Auditorium at Tufts Medical Center.
Dr. Rollin (Mac) Gallagher of the University of Pennsylvania and the VA Administration will describe recent efforts to alleviate pain and suffering beginning in the battlefield and extending through rehabilitation. He will be speaking in the Wolff Auditorium at Tufts Medical Center at 4pm. The date of his lecture is April 21, 2011.
#3 Network with New Alumni
Come and hear our graduating MS student capstone presentations on Monday, May 2 from 3:30pm to 5:00pm in Conference Room 1, M&V Building. We would love your support and networking with our hard-working graduates.
#2 Enroll in a Tufts course and save 75%
Did you know that all alumni from the Public Health and Professional Degree programs are able to enroll in a maximum of three courses in PHPD (one per year) at a 75% savings??? Yes, you can take that elective that you always wanted to and spend only 25% on that course! Contact Lauren Budd, Assistant Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
#1 Expand your world by connecting with PREP’s social media sites
In addition to PREP-AIRED, the PREP program’s widely read blog, the PREP program now has its own Facebook page. Join the community of current students, policy makers, leaders in the pain conversation and alumni by “liking” our page. Here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/PREP-Pain-Research-Education-and-Policy-Graduate-Program-Tufts/198047410219415
What are your top reasons for returning to Tufts?
April 6th, 2011