PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — With the American Academy of Pain Medicine’s (AAPM) annual meeting underway this week, pain specialists and primary care professionals in attendance will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sessions focused on primary care, opioids, education, clinical practice instruction, and more.

Taking place February 18-21, the 32nd Annual Meeting is designed for primary care providers (PCPs), advanced practice providers, physical and occupational therapists, clinical and rehabilitation psychologists, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and other health care professionals who treat, teach, or research the field of pain medicine.

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This year’s meeting has been revamped with a new format to include: new sessions, key opinion leaders (KOLs), featured speakers, new preconference programs, and new interventional programming presented through collaboration with the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANs).

The preconference program will include 2 plenary sessions aimed to address pain medicine integration with primary care and examine the latest trends in opioid-centered education. There will also be additional preconference courses dedicated to covering various kinds of research, education and policy discussion, and clinical practice instruction.

Discussions surrounding end-of-life pain and symptom management, interdisciplinary pain management, and chronic migraine education will adhere to AAPM’s focus on primary care.

Health care professionals in need of additional education on prescription painkillers can attend sessions dedicated to prescribing opioids in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), opioid tapering, and the use of opioids in today’s clinical environment.

Dr Beth Darnall, PhD, a pain psychologist at Stanford’s Pain Management Center, told Clinical Pain Advisor that she’s impressed with the topics and speakers at this year’s conference.

“I’m particularly excited about my 2 sessions, one in which myself and Dr Richard Stieg are presenting results for an opioid taper study that included education about opioids and pain psychology,” she said. “Also, I and Drs Judith Scheman and Sara Davin are presenting data for the national needs assessment conducted by the AAPM Pain Psychology Task Force.”

Clinical practice instruction will be provided throughout the conference, along with the presentation of innovations from top researchers in the field. This will include a session on the mechanisms of low back pain due to soft tissues, which will be moderated by Sigfried Mense, MD, a professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Heidelberg, which is based out of Germany.

To promote future directions in interdisciplinary care, there will be a range of meeting offerings reflecting the ever-growing view that pain management is an undertaking best addressed by a multidisciplinary team.