Hunter Pain Specialists believes that ongoing education and learning is is essential to deliver the best quality of care
Earlier in my career, I sought out teachers to learn from them because I felt that textbooks are one way to learn, experience with patients is another. But the accumulated knowledge that comes from somebody who's been in the saddle doing a job for very many years is absolutely invaluable for a young person. Now that I have gray hair and have treated over 50,000 patients over the last 24 years, I really do perceive the benefit of being able to take accumulated learnings and try and distill those, and pass that on to a younger generation.
So, we have knowledge that is encapsulated in clinical studies. And obviously, the scientific grounding of the field of pain medicine, for example, is grounded in what are those studies showing. But also, there's the hard-fought knowledge of what an individual practitioner may have tried over a period of 20 or more years. What they found works, what they found doesn't work. Because clinical studies tell you what happens to 100 people or 1,000 people, but in front of you might be an individual that has unique characteristics that don't even fit into that clinical trial.
So, at Hunter Pain Specialists, our teaching covers both internal and external to our clinic. So, internally, we have monthly CME meetings, and that stands for continuing medical education. And that's when everyone in the building comes together and we have a meeting after-hours where either we're presenting on a particular topic or we have an invited expert guest to lecture to the group. So, we have that as our internal process. But above and beyond that, we have regular interactions and teaching sessions between the doctors and our nursing staff, and between our doctors and our physiotherapists, the doctors and our psychologists.
So, that's what we very much call an interdisciplinary mode of education. And it's really critical to something like pain medicine where no particular individual has all the skillset needed to manage patients with persistent pain. In addition to that, we do outside lecturing. So, we take the opportunity to jump out into the community and go visit a group of GPs at lunchtime, and I'll talk about updates in pain medicine, what new things are available, or really, meet them and understand from them what are the things that they're finding difficult in managing patients. Then, we can have evening meetings where we're lecturing at either national conferences or traveling internationally to international meetings.
So, there's a lot of education that goes on, and I think that education is critical to not only keeping abreast of a rapidly-changing field, but it's also invigorating for that individual, that you're doing more than just one thing, that you've got many strings to your bow, and being educated and educating others is part of that process.
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