Core Committment

Why do we need a School for Clinical and Instrumental Diagnostic Processes in Pain Medicine?

There are several reasons all of which are related to the increasing number of doctors from different branches of medicine involved in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain (i.e. pain medicine); the need to guarantee the best available diagnostic procedures on an equal basis to all EU citizens, streamlined to the perceivable and widespread reduction in the budgets of the various national health services. The fact that many specialists from different branches are increasingly involved in pain medicine is certainly a source of cultural richness.

However, it also creates a weak point: the lack of uniformity in the clinical approach to the patient and in some way also in the different use of the various available diagnostic tools. Despite the increasing interest in pain medicine, only very few doctors work in structured multidisciplinary teams in which the various specialists work together within the specific frame of pain medicine and can, therefore, discuss and understand the results of the various instrumental findings.

The majority of the professionals involved in pain medicine work in multidisciplinary teams which only rely on external support of other specialists whose diagnostic results are not always palatable for the pain clinician. Unfortunately too many doctors, especially in those countries which have recently joined the EU, still work without real, targeted support from other specialists. The increasing complexity of single and specific instrumental diagnostics makes their task even more difficult. A progressive reduction in national health service budgets in various countries compels all of the countries to optimise the costs of instrumental examinations by means of better and widely accepted diagnostic flowcharts. Within an enlarged EU community and in respect of the rights of all European citizens to receive adequate and uniform treatments all over Europe, there is the need for a minimum common denominator in the clinical approach: learning how to use the instrumental tools better and how to improve the interpretation of the various instrumental reports, which are not always tailored for the diagnosis of “pain as a disease”.

For the few who already work in a real multidisciplinary team, the School will help them to use their budgets better as well as to refine their clinical approach and to improve their ability to challenge the position of other specialists. For many of those not working in a multidisciplinary team or who are in such a team but only with external support, the School, with a common clinical approach, will give the skills to interpret the various diagnostic responses with a more tailored cost-benefit ratio. The aim and program of the School presented so far, goes to fill a lack in the training currently offered to young doctors in Europe.

Goals and Objectives

The specific goals and objectives of the School (under EFIC supervision) are to: 

  • Support the concept of pain as a disease 

  • Improve the clinical examination skills of the participants 

  • Define a core set of diagnostic tools for pain as a disease 

  • Define what kind of instrumental evaluation should/could be done by the pain specialist 

  • Promote the consistency of instrumental diagnostic procedures in pain medicine 

  • Improve the clinician’s skill with regards to planning a correct instrumental diagnostic pathway in pain medicine 

  • Improve the understanding of the diagnostic tools available in the diagnosis of pain 

  • Define a flow chart on the evaluation of cost/benefit 

  • Allow the participants to exploit the use of all the available diagnostic tools to the full 

  • Enable participants to correctly interpret the findings of many of the most utilized tools from other specialities 

  • Allow the participants to use some of the most valuable bed-side tests in pain medicine