Rene Przkora, MD, PhD, president of the Association of Pain Program Directors, recently took advantage of an online platform to address the needs and opportunities for pain medicine training programs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The crisis has presented numerous challenges, but also offers opportunities for programs to embrace telemedicine and new technology, said Dr. Przkora, Professor of Anesthesiology, Chief of the Pain Medicine Division, and Program Director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Medicine Fellowship.
During the Zoom meeting for pain program directors on April 1, Dr. Przkora also discussed details of board examinations, training requirements, and new approaches for interviewing the next generation of trainees using online platforms. Those discussions are important to ensure the safety of applicants and interviewers and to ensure interviews can continue in the event of travel disruptions.
Other agenda items included jobs for graduating fellows, education, research, wellness resources, and the outlook for future medical practice.
“We are advocating for our fellows and our trainees by being in communication with the ACGME and the specialty board,” Dr. Przkora said, referring to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
With some colleagues already on the frontlines of the pandemic on April 1, the forum also provided a vital way to share information and learn from others, Dr. Przkora said.
The Association of Pain Program Directors is a nonprofit organization that promotes pain medicine education and career development for pain specialists and trainees. There are more than 90 ACGME-accredited pain medicine training programs in the United States.