Physicians Are Providing Chronic Pain Education

FEBRUARY 01, 2005

Health care professionals throughout Alberta province of Canada are learning better ways to diagnose and treat chronic pain in their patients.

Although chronic pain is hard to define, surveys estimated that >300,000 Albertans have the condition, a number that is expected to double in 20 years.

Pamela Barton, MD, cofounder of the Calgary Chronic Pain Centre, said physicians may not know how to treat chronic pain or may lack the resources to help.

Therefore, Dr. Barton and other experts are traveling across Alberta to educate physicians on how to assess chronically ill patients and provide them with treatment options. The initial step of the Alberta Ambassador program is raising awareness among physicians and administrators. Training is scheduled to end in the spring. Advocates hope an independent review committee will green-light the program as a permanent training model for health care professionals.