JOHNSON CITY (November 6, 2012) – East Tennessee State University’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine is holding a continuing medical education conference that outlines treatment strategies for chronic pain, a health issue so pervasive that it reportedly affects more Americans than cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined.
“Controversies in Pain Management 2012: Improving Patient Functionality in the Primary Care Setting” will be held Friday, Nov. 16, at the Millennium Centre. The ETSU Office of Continuing Medical Education (CME) is sponsoring the event, which is designed to equip health care professionals with the latest approaches for managing the pain of patients and improving their functionality.
A study by the Institute of Medicine reported that 100 million Americans are afflicted with pain that can persist for weeks or even years. That same study estimated that U.S. costs associated with chronic pain were between $560 billion and $635 billion in 2010, after factoring in the charges for pain care and the associated economic costs of disability days, lost wages and diminished productivity.
Dr. David Tauben, the medical director for the University of Washington Center for Pain Relief in Seattle, will serve as the keynote speaker for the second consecutive year. Sue Frye, an educational planner in the Office of CME, said the talk by Tauben last year was well-received.
“Dr. Tauben summed up the theme of this conference last year in one sentence,” Frye said. “He said, ‘Chronic pain patients are our most vulnerable patients who we must treat with some of our most dangerous drugs.’ The speakers at this conference will provide the ideas and tools that can help health care team members balance those two realities.”
The conference emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to pain treatment, so it is appropriate not only for primary care physicians but also for pain specialists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists, psychiatrists, pharmacists, registered nurses and physical therapists.
Other nationally known speakers and two local experts join Tauben on the agenda.
Dr. Erin Krebs, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota, will present strategies that can be used for successful patient-provider communication. Dr. Julie Fritz, an assistant professor of physical therapy at the University of Utah, will examine the role of physical therapy in assisting a patient’s return to optimal functionality. Dr. Steven Passik, a professor of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University, will discuss the psychological assessment of patients with chronic pain.
Dr. John Bossaer, an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at ETSU’s Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, will present a plan on educating patients regarding their pharmacotherapy by utilizing shared responsibility and collaboration. And Dr. Shelley Silvers, a clinical psychologist with the Quillen VA Medical Center, will discuss recreational therapy and its ability to engage patients who are on the road to improved functionality.
For a complete conference agenda, to register, or to request special assistance, visit the ETSU Office of CME website at www.etsu.edu/com/cme or call (423) 439-8027. The Quillen College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.