ASRA Fall 2012
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ASRA 2012 | Pain Medicine & Regional Anesthesia Meeting

Message from Daniel T. Warren, MD., Program Chair, Scientific/Education Planning Committee 


It is a great honor to invite you to the 11th Annual ASRA Pain Medicine Meeting and Workshops, on behalf of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, and 2012 Fall Program Committee.

Join us at the beautiful Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, November 15th through the 18th, 2012.

This year’s pain medicine meeting will explore the many crossroads that we face as the practice of pain medicine continues to develop. The changes coming for medicine in general will likely have substantial impact on the field of pain medicine, and we must strive to maintain a worthy and sustainable place for our specialty in this challenging future. We encourage you to join us as we examine these issues and other hot topics in a gorgeous setting that is sure to inspire.

The meeting will open on Thursday with Refresher Course Lectures that highlight the intersection of basic science and clinical applications. We will have world-renowned experts addressing core topics, including neuropathic pain, cancer pain, and the transition from acute pain to chronic states. We will also highlight the indications and implications for lumbar fusion and chronic opioid therapy.

Friday morning, the opening session will address radiofrequency techniques in pain medicine. The afternoon plenary session will bring a lively discussion on a therapy at a crossroads, intrathecal analgesic management. We will then breakout into parallel sessions to explore topics suggested by ASRA members: pain physicians in palliative care, and special considerations for pain syndromes in women. Further parallel sessions inspired by member feedback will be held on Sunday, including headache management and applied pharmacology for the pain specialist.

A topic that brings a surprising amount of debate is the finer management points of anticoagulants and platelet modifying agents in the setting of the spectrum of interventional pain procedures. Saturday morning will bring together an expert panel to discuss important topics surrounding anticoagulant therapy in interventional pain practice including the implications for implantable devices and the management of oral anticoagulants and antiplatelet therapy in the perioperative implantation and interventional procedural time frame. Audience members will have a chance to weigh in on this topic, not only through audience questions for the panel, but also through the audience response system to survey the current practice of members participating in the session.

This year we are reaching out to physicians in primary care with a special parallel session addressing pain management in the primary care clinic, focusing on appropriate triage of pain patients. International experts in pain medicine will also address some of the most concerning issues in opioid management. We expect that pain specialists who focus on longitudinal care and medication management will want to join our primary care colleagues for this session. 

Saturday afternoon heats up with “Crossroads and Controversies” as we look to experts in the field to direct us on sustainability of the specialty, notably, balancing ethical issues and financial pressures in practice management. We will also have discussions on newer interventional techniques, including minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD®), with focus on proper introduction of new therapies. We then will look down the road to the future of pain medicine, exploring emerging imaging techniques, and the signposts on the path through healthcare reform and its implications for pain medicine.

ASRA continues to bring outstanding hands-on workshops for participants to hone examination and procedural skills, or to be introduced to techniques that are not yet part of one’s practice. The two-hour workshops are held Thursday through Saturday and will have instruction on ultrasound- and fluoroscopic-guided techniques. We will again offer three “Special Session Workshops” which will bring focused didactics together with small group hands-on training in the following topics: Ultrasound for Interventional Pain Medicine (back by popular demand), Advanced Techniques for Spinal Cord Stimulation, and Radiofrequency Techniques for Pain Medicine.

As always, we will have problem-based learning discussions during two of the lunch hours. These sessions give the pain medicine meeting participants a chance to dive deep into some of the more perplexing issues in the practice of pain medicine, and not only have guidance from the expert leading the session, but also share experiences and concerns with your pain medicine colleagues in a round table format.

This year’s meeting will also have a new system to support scientific abstract submissions which we expect to better meet the needs of our valued members interested in sharing their research with peers.

We look forward to continued outstanding submissions of basic science and clinical research projects, as well as medically-challenging cases. There will again be recognition of the “Best of Abstracts” as well as a providing a travel award for residents and fellows with outstanding submissions.

The resident program always provides outstanding opportunities for those in training to interact with experts and influential pillars of the field of pain medicine. The resident leadership will again have programming that will focus on what the residents really value- hands-on workshop instruction and small group discussion sessions. A condensed and prioritized program will allow the residents to attend the main attractions and maintain the highly valued interactive sessions.

Please see Dr. David Webb’s article for further details.

The glamorous Fontainebleau hotel provides a beachside backdrop for this exciting meeting, and we will party on the beach Saturday night with hot Cuban rhythms and festive fare.  Don’t forget that South Beach is just minutes away with steamy night life and endless attractions. Be sure to come ready for fun in the sun and to take in some of what this destination location has to offer. We hope that you are inspired to join hot debates during the day and let loose afterward for even hotter nights! We look forward to seeing all of you in Miami.