Some small changes around here… UPDATED

In the past my posting has been more or less random. We’ve had some themes from time to time and a series or two most of which were never really tied up. Over the past few days I became aware of a fellowship from a foundation that covers the topic of pain and society. The idea of the fellowship is to bring a select group of people in, on an annual basis, to learn about effective communication for pain treatment and pain research advocacy. Coupled with the education aspect of the fellowship are numerous opportunities to get involved by talking to Congress, funding agencies and state and local legislatures. I will be applying for one of these fellowships next year.

As part of the application, the potential fellow is supposed to provide evidence of an innovative approach to educating the public (or medical practitioners) on the unique problems that pain management presents for medical practice or on the importance of funding pain research. I’ve decided that blogging is an excellent way to demonstrate that I have a unique approach (as far as I know I’m the only pain researcher with an active blog — in English at least) and I am going to dedicate more of the blog time to building a portfolio of pain-related posts (under the new “pain” category). You can still expect some of the same old garbage and some insightful posts on being a junior tenure-track faculty along the way, I promise. In the mean time we’re going to start by de-mystifying some of the pain research (and medicine) terminology to enlighten a general audience on what this stuff actually means. Mixed in we’re going to go into some pharmacology and some basic neuroscience of the pain pathways (geared toward a lay audience). Through all of these posts I hope to point out why pain research is so important, how and why current analgesics are inadequate in many situations and what a pervasive problem chronic pain is in the US and the world.

Finally, no I am not trying to transition out of my current position into a public policy or advocacy job. Frankly, I’ve been inspired to do this by so much hand-wringing and so much empty talk from my field in general. There are those that are genuinely dedicated to trying to do something about the short-shrift that pain research and pain management have gotten from the funding and medical establishment for so many years. Unfortunately, these individuals are few and far between. As the hits have gone up on the blog I have realized that a good deal of people have come around here to read my posts about pain management, about analgesics in general and about cannabinoid analgesics. Aside from the postdoc posts, these have gotten the most traffic and my google search results clearly show that there are people out there looking for info about pain and pain management that is not coming from some chiropractor or acupuncturist trying to steal someone’s money. So, I’m gonna build my file up here, go for this fellowship and see what I can do.

Here we go…

UPDATE:
Already learned an important lesson. Posing the title of the post as a question is really sucking in the google search hits. I realized that I do this myself (while googling) but didn’t really imagine that many other people did the same. We’ll have to continue to write posts in this manner…

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4 responses to “Some small changes around here… UPDATED

  1. Looking forward to some edumacation!

  2. all right…great idea! looking forward to learning

  3. Bring it on! Should be interesting.

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