We have had to cancel a number of programs that were in advanced planning stage for the first 6 months of 2020, including Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Sudan and Tunisia. We are sorry that we couldn’t make these commitments but we will be ready to go again when everyone thinks it’s safe to travel again.
United Kingdom – Helen Makins
EPM in the UK has taken a digital turn, in keeping with many areas of life recently.
The UK Faculty of Pain Medicine have been making progress towards incorporating EPM teaching into the undergraduate and postgraduate programs for doctors over a number of years. In the latter part of 2019 and early 2020, we agreed with the Medical Schools Council and the Foundation Programme Directors that we will produce an EPM learning resource specific to each curriculum. Feedback from our presentations to these groups was very positive, with appreciation that the understanding of pain could be improved amongst medical staff. This will mean that all medical students and newly qualified doctors in the UK will have access to an online EPM-based learning resource, to be housed within the e-Pain section of our wide-reaching e-Learning for Health platform.
Whilst this work has been slightly delayed by COVID-19, several of our regional EPM leads have been busy developing and delivering virtual EPM courses to medical students, using teleconferencing software. The feedback from these early courses has been excellent, with participants appreciating the ability to teach and be taught despite the disruption of social distancing.
Alongside this, we continue to encourage the use of the Recognise, Assess, Treat structure when considering the management of even the most complex pain presentations. We have written a number of EPM-based case studies on topics such as complex regional pain syndrome and fibromyalgia, catering for our anaesthetic trainees and encouraging them to use the RAT framework.
We are continually looking for and finding new opportunities to promote EPM, raising the profile nationally.
Latin America – Carolina Haylock-Loor
On May 30, we facilitated a successful Latin America Virtual EPM Lite for 24 medical students via zoom. Seven Latin American EPM instructors participated. We used tools such as polling and breakout rooms to run smaller discussion sessions and swap between instructors. The workshop lasted five and half hours (but this can be optimized). The program included several brief breaks for coffee/tea and dynamics (stretching, dancing, native music, brain gym, etc.) to keep concentration levels high.
To register, students must have taken the Pathology class, which means they were more or less half way through their degree and had starting experience with patients.
This was our first virtual EPM Lite experience and working (teaching and learning) with 24 millennials was amazing and challenging. Thank you all for the support WFSA, ANZCA, EPM, it was teamwork. The team of Latin American instructors worked very hard for this.