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Pain Management – A Decade’s Perspective of a New Subspecialty

Authors Hochberg U, Sharon H, Bahir I, Brill S

Received 3 February 2021

Accepted for publication 15 March 2021

Published 9 April 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 923—930

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S303815

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Robert Twillman


Uri Hochberg,1,2 Haggai Sharon,1– 3 Iris Bahir,1,2 Silviu Brill1,2

1Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Institute of Pain Medicine, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel; 2Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; 3Sagol Brain Institute, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel

Correspondence: Uri Hochberg
Institute of Pain Medicine, Division of Anesthesiology, Tel Aviv Medical Center, 6 Weizmann Street, Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel +972 3-6974477
Email [email protected]

Objective: Pain management is increasingly recognized as a formal medical subspecialty worldwide. Israel was among the first to offer a board-certified subspecialty, formalized by the Israeli Medical Association in 2010 which is open to all clinicians with a state-recognized specialization. This paper aims at evaluating the current program across several quality control measures.
Design: A survey among pain medicine specialists who graduated from the Israeli Pain Management subspecialty.
Methods: All 43 graduates of the program were sent a web-based questionnaire, each related to a different time in the participants’ residency period – prior to, during and after training.
Results: Forty-one physicians responded to the survey (95% response rate). The most common primary specialty was Anesthesiology (44%), followed by Family Medicine (22%). One-third of the respondents applied to the program over five years after completing their initial residency. Two-thirds reported that they acquired all or most of the professional tools required by a pain specialist. Insufficient training was mentioned regarding addiction management (71%), special population needs (54%) and interventional treatment (37%). A high proportion (82%) responded that the examination contributed to their training and almost all perceived their period of subspecialty as having a positive value in their personal development. Two-thirds of respondents had not yet actively engaged beyond the clinical aspect with other entities responsible for formulating guidelines and other strategic decision-making.
Conclusion: We hope the findings of this first-of-a-kind survey will encourage other medical authorities to construct formal training in pain medicine and enable this discipline to further evolve.

Keywords: chronic pain, medical education, curriculum, pain management, pain training programs

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