A Hospital-Based Multidisciplinary Approach to Chronic Pain Management

Harman S. Parhar


The Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the Montreal General Hospital is a bilingual hospital-based multidisciplinary chronic pain treatment facility. Its members are practitioners in the disciplines of anaesthesia, oncology, rheumatology, physiatry, physiotherapy, psychiatry, palliative medicine, and others. The patients who present typically have chronic, often unrelenting, pain for years which progresses to a complex condition that drastically changes their physical, social, and mental functioning. The team works together to synthesize both medical and relevant psychological issues to develop individual treatment programs using multiple treatment modalities including pharmacological management, physiotherapy, psychological techniques, clinic-based procedures, and operating room-based interventions. The unit is also dedicated to academic endeavors including the conducting of pain research, the hosting of instructional rounds, and the teaching of fellows, residents, and medical students. As a student welcomed there on a 2-week elective, I had the opportunity to participate in the initial pain assessments and assist in multiple treatment modalities, both in the clinic and in the operating room. Given that chronic pain is among the most common presenting complaints seen by physicians, I am confident that this experience will undoubtedly influence the future practice of any student who takes advantage of this unique opportunity.

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Parhar HS. A Hospital-Based Multidisciplinary Approach to Chronic Pain Management. UBCMJ 2013 5(1):30-31.