“Few things a doctor does are more important than relieving pain. . . pain is soul destroying. No patient should have to endure intense pain unnecessarily. The quality of mercy is essential to the practice of medicine; here, of all places, it should not be strained.”
Marcia Angell, American physician, author, and the first woman to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine.
On January 1, 2020, we changed our name to the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. This new name accurately reflects our Department’s unwavering commitment to alleviating pain and suffering. Your clinical activities to address acute and chronic pain, your game-changing research and your efforts to educate the next generation of care providers confirm our department’s commitment to mitigating pain.
This new name simply acknowledges the work done every day and thus, aligns with the first priority of our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan - foster recognition and leadership. It builds upon our existing leadership in this field. For example, the Pain Medicine Residency training program, led by Dr. John Hanlon, has been a tremendous success. Tania DiRenna is leading one of Canada’s first multidiscipline, provincially funded programs. Others are now replicating Hance Clark’s translational pain program. Further, the work is pain medicine gaining widespread recognition. For example, Philip Peng recently received the John J Bonica Award from the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine and the Distinguished Service Award from the European Society of Regional Anesthesia- Spain Chapter. Fiona Campbell serves as the President of the Canadian Association for Pain and is co-leading Canada’s first national task force on pain. There are many other highly impactful contributions.
Over the year, we will continue to undertake activities such as the Alumni Evening on Pain and the Advancement Evening and the creation of a funded Pain Fellowship to advance pain care and research. Please share your ideas about how our Department can best celebrate the name change and use this opportunity to elevate your work.
Beverley A. Orser, O Ont, MD, PhD, FRCPC, FCAHS, FRSC
Chair, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
Professor of Anesthesia and Physiology
University of Toronto