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Members’ COVID-19 Update from AAPM President Ajay Wasan, MD MSc

AAPM has been monitoring CDC guidance related to COVID-19. Today AAPM President Ajay D. Wasan, MD MSc issued the following message to members. 

Dear Colleagues,

Since my last president's message in mid-March, the COVID-19 crisis has continued to challenge us as pain care providers and reshape the delivery of care. As pain specialists we are aware of how untreated or poorly treated pain is devastating to our patients and results in extreme disability and severe suffering.In other words, while the disease we treat (pain) is not immediately lethal, what we do is vital to patients' health—even in the time of a pandemic!

I am in awe of how pain specialists have managed to transform pain care in recent months through ingenuity, commitment, and grit. For example, we have seen an abrupt rise in the use of telemedicine among pain providers. More recently, we've begun selectively restarting procedural pain care. Our use of behavioral modalities has expanded as well with telemedicine to reach to our patients, and we have figured out how to do reasonable management of prescribing medications via telemedicine. I am convinced that what enables AAPM members to continue delivering high-quality pain care is our emphasis on multimodal care. The pandemic further illustrates why multimodal approaches are crucial to the treatment of acute and chronic pain and no other medical specialty has as much command of these modalities as we do.

So as you continue your efforts to on behalf of your patients, we hope you will continue to find value in the various AAPM member resources the Academy has gathered.

Go to painmed.org/coronavirus. 

AAPM has created a hub of resources to help pain management professionals modify their practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, including clinical practice guidance, coding guidance, and recommendations for maintaining high quality pain medicine fellowship programs. This information along with the latest AAPM COVID-19 news coverage are available at painmed.org/coronavirus.

Visit the AAPM Education Center for educational programs related to COVID-19 as well as free and discounted pain education.
Over the past month AAPM has produced three new on demand programs:

Members have also been granted access to additional free content through June 1, including full libraries of the 2019 and 2018 AAPM Annual Meetings, as well as discounted access to all AAPM 2020 on demand content.

AAPM COVID-19 resources and educational programs are freely accessible to anyone who needs them. We hope you will share them with your colleagues.

Membership deadlines have been extended to ensure access in benefits. 

We realize that renewing memberships may not be a top priority at this time. For that reason, we have extended the dues payment deadline for any member set to expire in March, April, or May of this year. We hope that this extension will give those members time to attend to their practice and other pressing issues while continuing to receive benefits (separate communication has been sent to any members affected by this extension). 

Pain Medicine journal to go digital beginning with the August 2020 issue. 

Pain Medicine is the premier source of peer-reviewed research and commentary on matters relevant to the multidisciplinary clinical practice of pain medicine, and it is regularly cited as one of the most highly valued benefits of AAPM membership. The Pain Medicine Editorial Board led by Editor Rollin M. Gallagher, MD MPH, has worked with the journal publisher Oxford University Press to maintain the highest standards of the publishing industry. Today, that industry is shifting to immediately accessible information through digital publications. Originally, in keeping with these standards and practices, AAPM was slated to shift to an all-digital journal in January 2021. But in response to newfound challenges arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud to make this transition sooner—effective with the August 2020 issue of Pain Medicine. In his latest editorial Pain Medicine's Editor-in-Chief, Rollin M. Gallagher, MD MPH, provides more insights and some reflections on the reasons for and the effect of the change. I hope you all will read Mac's editorial providing more insight into what lead decision to transition from a print journal. 

Help keep AAPM strong. 

In the coming weeks and months we hope to be a continued resource for you as restrictions lift and more in-person care can be continued. Please continue staying in touch by visiting painmed.org and reading the bi-weekly AAPM E-News. When the time comes for you to renew, we hope you will choose to do so. Your membership fuels AAPM. If you have friends or colleagues that you think may be interested in joining us, I hope you'll consider logging into your AAPM account to make a referral

Thank you for your continuing efforts on behalf of our patients. I am proud to stand by each of you as one of your colleagues.

Ajay D. Wasan, MD MSc
President AAPM

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