Turning pain education on it’s head

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Following a recent Know Pain workshop with a group of junior hospital doctors, I was asked a rather telling question, “Why wasn’t I taught this stuff at medical school?”

Now, there’s a question! 

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In the best facilitative educational tradition, my answer included two things:

1. A long, knowing sigh &

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2. A signpost to this excellent piece of work by Carr & Bradshaw.

Having recovered from my excessive exhalation, we later discussed this article. With a contemporary way of viewing pain experiences, the young Doctor had two further considerations:

Q1. I want to become a G.P but how do I make sure that I’m not the odd one out?

A1. Help others to see the bigger picture

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Q2. Now what? How do I use this approach with patients?

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A2. Here’s a list:

Listen to your patients

Reflect on your experiences

Attend a Know Pain workshop (shameless self-promotion alert!). 

Join the Twitter CPD revolution

Observe a wide range of other healthcare professionals

The novelist E.M Forster once said, “Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.” With this in mind, this experience has highlighted the importance of not succumbing to the passive, expert model of didactic education. Instead, we should guide our colleagues and patients to make their own discoveries. 

We must endeavour to facilitate sustained interest in others. 

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As always, thanks for reading.

A Practical Guide to Persistent Pain Therapy

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