I have some very exciting news to share. Last week, the UBC Residency
Allocation Committee and the Ministry of Health have provided full
approval and funding to launch the Pain Medicine Residency program
starting in July 2015. This is the second program in Canada to be
approved by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the
second program to receive a funded training position since the
sub-specialty was recognized in 2013. UBC has much to be proud of in
its role in shaping the future of Pain Management in BC and in Canada.
Initially spearheaded by Dr. Brian Warriner’s vision as UBC department
head in 2011, a pain medicine residency committee consisting of 3 key
multidisciplinary pain centres (SPH, JPOCSC and Nanaimo), anesthesiology,
physiatry, rheumatology, neurology, pediatric pain, palliative care,
oncology, sleep medicine, psychiatry and addictions medicine was formed.
Over 100+ faculty spanning three health authorities and the faculties of
medicine, nursing, pharmacy, psychology, physiotherapy, nursing and
dentistry helped create the current 2 year UBC pain medicine curriculum.
We will have the first electives in pelvic pain, community pain medicine
models, ultrasound guided interventions and radiology.
As this is a small program, innovations in the academic program include
connecting residents nationally, shared webinars with key knowledge
leaders from across Canada and a central repository of resources through
the McMasters National Pain centre website.
While it has been a long road to make this program a reality, it has been
a privilege to help chair our UBC residency taskforce and work with so
many passionate healthcare providers in making formal pain training and
therefore care standards possible.
I have a strong commitment to improve accessibility of much needed pain
services to patients in their own communities. A significant part of this
accessibility is to ensure there are enough trained providers to deliver
Due to the significant task ahead, I will be dedicating further focused
time to help this program take root and thrive.
Effective May 1, 2015, I will take an academic sabbatical for about one
year from my clinical duties at St. Paul’s Hospital.
I will be supporting pain teaching activities with clinicians and
residents at our community based clinic CHANGEpain to expand experience
with interdisciplinary pain management and the opportunities for
preventative and early intervention pain care. I will also continue
anesthesiology teaching activities at SMH.
I am very grateful to you all for your contributions to letters of support
in helping to make this training program a reality. I am also very
grateful for your continued support of numerous key leads of pain services
as we continue our work together to improve access to pain services both
in and out of hospital settings. I will keep you updated on the progress
of the program.
Brenda Lau MD, FRCPC, FFPMANZCA, MM, CGIMS, FRCPC Founder (Pain Medicine)
Clinical Associate Professor, UBC Department of Anesthesiology,
Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Interventional Pain Specialist, St. Paul’s Hospital
Anesthesiologist, Surrey Memorial Hospital
Co-founder and Medical Director, CHANGEpain