Dialing Back on Pain

Educating Physicians About Pain

MCW offers a one-year Pain Medicine Fellowship that provides instruction and experience in managing acute, chronic and cancer pain. Fellows rotate through the Pain Clinics at Froedtert Hospital, the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center and Children's. Comprehensive, multidisciplinary pain management is provided at all three institutions.

As part of a project involving the development of a pain education app to help millennial learners more effectively acquire core pain knowledge, the entire pain curriculum for anesthesiology residents at MCW has been broken down into five-minute lessons that are turned into games so the residents can compete against each other.

The app has been made available for both Android and Apple phones, and if the pilot shows the tool improves engagement, learning and performance, it will be made available nationwide to other anesthesiology residency programs.

Another program designed to educate practicing clinicians involves designing and implementing evidence-based electronic resources and decision-support tools to more effectively guide care for patients with complex medical problems that are not part of the clinician's primary expertise. The goal of clinician education projects such as this is to help patients suffering from chronic pain and improve patient satisfaction scores.

An additional education app is focused on non-opioid alternatives for pain care, and provides the information the physician needs in less than two minutes – uses, doses and contraindications to non-opioid medications in the management of pain. It will soon be made available to MCW's primary care physicians.

Pain statistics | Source: National Institutes of Health, 2015

Source: National Institutes of Health, 2015

Another pain education resource in development will assess the effectiveness of clinician pain education. Similarly, an electronic patient-reported outcomes tool in primary care practices focuses on enhancing patient satisfaction and pain relief.

– Anthony Braza • Greg Calhoun • Sara L. Wilkins

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