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Members' Update from AAPM President Ajay Wasan, MD MSc

Today AAPM President Ajay D. Wasan, MD MSc issued the following message to members.

Dear Colleagues,

I want to keep you apprised of how AAPM is responding to the extraordinary circumstances we are living in this year. This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and among other things, the sustained call to end pervasive racial injustices in this country, which I believe should also include a push to end the disparities in pain care driven by race that are well-documented in our field (including in Pain Medicine!).

In my most recent message, I remarked on how pain specialists have risen to our new challenges in order to transform pain care through ingenuity, commitment, and grit. As your efforts and work continue in the face of COVID-19 and shared societal pain, know that AAPM is also continuing to develop new resources to help guide and support you.

Guidance for reopening pain practices amidst COVID-19

Last month AAPM leaders conducted an expert panel who delivered a free CME webinar that offered guidance on safely delivering patient care in light of the ongoing pandemic. A recording of this session is now accessible in the AAPM Education Center, and a summary of the recommendations is available. Learn more and access the course and summary >

This is the latest in a series of freely accessible CME resources AAPM has developed for pain medicine professionals in the past several months specific to the COVID crisis. View all of these resources and track the latest COVID-19 news and information that most closely affects our specialty at painmed.org/coronavirus. 

The show will go on: AAPM 2021 planning is underway

As I have mentioned, the pandemic further illustrates why multimodal approaches are crucial to the treatment of acute and chronic pain. No other medical specialty has as large a toolbox of these different modalities as we do. The 2021 AAPM Annual Meeting will focus on the theme Effective Pain Care is Multimodal. Thank you to everyone who participated in the call for educational sessions, and I invite you all to submit scientific poster abstracts. AAPM will accept abstract submissions through August 14, 2020, 5 pm CT. Learn more about AAPM 2021 and participate in the call for abstracts >

I hope that Phoenix will offer an additional respite for us this February following months of lock downs and social distancing. However, the AAPM 2021 Program Committee, chaired by Halena Gazelka, MD and Gagan Mahajan, MD, are preparing for any eventuality. For the first time this year, we anticipate offering virtual participation in the live AAPM Annual Meeting. If necessary, we are prepared to shift to a fully virtual experience should convening in-person not be feasible. No matter the delivery, we will use these dates of February 3-7, 2021 to gather members of the pain medicine community for our annual meeting and hope you will participate. We will keep you informed of these plans as they continue to evolve. 

Confronting disparities in pain management

Last month AAPM issued a statement condemning racism and acknowledging its heavy toll on public health as well as a need for action. Today I am following up to let you know the steps AAPM is taking to fulfill its commitment to eradicate disparities from pain treatment so that all health care professionals and persons seeking health care and pain care are safe, respected, and valued. 

Disparities in Pain Management SIG launched

Thank you to AAPM members Juliet Gaisey, MD; James Khan, MD MSc; Sean Mackey, MD PhD; Fabienne Saint-Preux, MD; Natacha Telusca, MD MPH; Charonn D. Woods, MD who are co-chairing the Academy's newest shared interest group, the Disparities in Pain Management SIG. The AAPM Disparities in Pain Management SIG seeks to equalize access to treatment for chronic pain in racial and ethnic minorities and people living in poverty by:

  • Creating a forum for sharing knowledge and expanding awareness of existing disparities in pain care
  • Promoting and participating in research efforts and programs to help improve access to pain treatment in the United States and globally
  • Creating opportunities for mentorship and partnership to improve medical education in pain management

All members interested in contributing to this group can join the SIG by visiting their My Account page and adjusting their SIG preferences, or you can contact AAPM Member Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 847-375-4731 to be added.

​Upcoming diversity, equity, and inclusion resources

In addition to the formation of this new SIG, AAPM leadership are actively identifying additional opportunities to enact positive change and engage in diversity, equity, and inclusion activities. AAPM 2021 will feature content about pain care disparities and the need for greater diversity in the workforce of pain specialists.

Help keep AAPM strong

During these difficult times, I personally have relied on the camaraderie and expertise available through AAPM and my fellow members more than ever. I hope you too have found support, knowledge, and guidance from the Academy and our amplified voice of nearly 2,000 members.

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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