Blog

no image available

Stepping out of my comfort zone at the World Congress on Pain

October 28th, 2014

Written by Katelynn Boerner (Dalhousie University & IWK Health Centre)

 

Through my time in graduate school, I have been so fortunate to have attended a number of conferences and training institutes specific to pediatric pain. For a trainee used to working in small, close-knit community like pediatric pain, the prospect of attending a large conference like the IASP World Congress on Pain can be quite daunting. As I traveled to the World Congress on Pain in Buenos Aires this year, I challenged myself to go to talks outside of my “comfort zone”, outside of psychology and pediatrics, to see how the cutting-edge findings from other areas could inform my own research. While I learned that I really needed to brush up on my genetics (my long-forgotten memories of undergraduate biology classes began to resurface!) I also discovered how much my own research could benefit from learning about current trends in similar research done in different populations or disciplines.

While the World Congress presented a lot of exciting new science, a common theme of the sessions was not just generating new ideas, but applying new ways of thinking to existing evidence. For example, a session on emotional modulation of pain with Dr. Catherine Bushnell challenged attendees to think about how many of the distractions we use to manage procedural pain may not just be capturing our attention, but may also work by inducing a different emotional state as well.  Dr. Jeffrey Mogil questioned whether our use of evoked pain in the lab is really the best approach to understanding the spontaneous pain that is so distressing for patients with neuropathic pain. A plenary session by Dr. Giandomenico Iannetti brought us back to basics by reminding us to always be critical about the logic behind our science.

Despite the busy conference schedule, the poster sessions were extremely well attended with fantastic representation from PICH! IASP also put in place many new features this year to provide programming geared towards of the hundreds of international trainees in attendance. The week kicked off with the trainee reception at the Puerto Madero yatch club, a stunning venue with delicious food and good company. The conference also offered trainee lunches with faculty, trainee-focused sessions on grant writing and developing a career in pain research, and the opportunity to attend poster sessions with a faculty mentor. It was a fantastic training and mentorship experience, and I highly recommend all PICH members take advantage of any trainee-specific opportunities offered at any conference you attend.

Buenos Aires is a city buzzing with energy, the perfect setting for an inspiring meeting. Thanks to IASP for a great conference, and see you in Yokohama in 2016!

 

Trainee Reception at Puerto Madero yatch club

Trainee Reception at Puerto Madero yatch club

La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires

La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires

IASP 2014 sign

IASP 2014 sign

IASP 2014 Poster Session

IASP 2014 Poster Session

Comments