What is the pain puzzle? “It is a bio-psycho social model of pain that is accepted in the field of rheumatology,” according to Michael Rapoff, PhD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City and the highlighted speaker for the ARHP audioconference on April 17.
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“The pain puzzle describes pain as a physiological and psychological experience. The focal consideration is that health professionals are interested in helping patients relieve their suffering and improve their quality of life. Chronic pain that is unrelenting or episodic can hinder one’s quality of life and interfere with social activities, especially those of a child,” says Dr. Rapoff.
He suggests that, “Chronic pain in children is one of the most ignored and under-treated symptoms of disease.” During the AHRP rheumatology audioconference, Dr. Rapoff will summarize the extent and consequences of pain associated with juvenile arthritis, describe the pain puzzle model, and discuss implications of the model for treating pain in children and adolescents with juvenile arthritis.
The pain puzzle involves several components, including how arthritis causes pain in children, the neural physiological aspects of pain, and how emotions, thoughts, and behaviors can influence the pain children experience. Dr. Rapoff explains that the nociceptive aspect is currently handled by medication, but does not necessarily influence the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral part of pain. “We teach children coping strategies to deal with their pain. For example, relaxation training can have a positive influence on emotions, behaviors, and thoughts,” he says.
Children today are more computer savvy than ever. Innovative advances are viable for this generation of point-and-clickers. Dr. Rapoff and his team, called Jointstrong, are developing cost-effective, cognitive behavioral approaches to pain management for children with arthritis and other chronic pain conditions. They are creating CD-ROMs and Web-based programs that will give children access to comprehensive programming that helps them develop coping strategies and manage their pain.
To sign up for this ARHP audioconference, visit www.rheumatology.org/arhp or contact Sharon Ross at (404)633-3777, ext. 802.
Nominate a Colleague for an ACR Award
Each year, the ACR recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology through its awards program. If you have a colleague or mentor who fits the description of one of the awards listed below or a Masters designation, please nominate that individual.
“Having admitted truthfully that receiving the ACR Presidential Gold Medal in 2007 was the high point of my professional career, I can also truthfully add that the process of nominating deserving colleagues for ACR awards such as Master and Distinguished Rheumatologist is extremely rewarding,” says Edward D. Harris, Jr., MD. “As you collect CVs and other information about individuals whom you think you know well, you are surprised and pleased to learn much more about them and their accomplishments. It follows that if they win or are not chosen, you have enlarged your friendship with them and respect for them.”
The process of nominating deserving colleagues for ACR awards such as Master and Distinguished Rheumatologist is extremely rewarding.
—Edward D. Harris, Jr., MD
The deadline for nominations for ACR Awards of Distinction and for a Masters designation is May 15, 2008, and award recipients are chosen by the Committee on Nominations and Appointments in late summer. Awards are presented at the ACR Annual Scientific Meeting’s Opening Lecture and include:
Presidential Gold Medal: The highest award that the ACR can bestow, this recognizes outstanding achievements in rheumatology over an entire career. Candidates should have made important contributions in multiple areas, such as clinical medicine, research, education, or administration. The recipient will receive a $5,000 cash award. This award is supported by an endowed fund created by the past presidents of the ACR and managed by the ACR Research and Education Foundation (REF). Active or Emeritus ACR members are eligible.
Distinguished Service Award: Awarded to an ACR member for outstanding and sustained service to the ACR. The recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award.
Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award (formerly Clinical Research Award): Awarded to a clinical scientist making outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology. The recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award.
Distinguished Clinician Scholar Award (formerly Distinguished Rheumatologist Award): Awarded to a rheumatologist who has made outstanding contributions in clinical medicine, clinical scholarship, or education. The recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award.
Distinguished Basic Investigator Award (formerly Distinguished Investigator Award): Awarded to a basic scientist making outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology. The recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award.
Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award: Through this award, the REF will honor an active ACR or ARHP member for their contributions to the rheumatology profession through outstanding and ongoing mentoring. The recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award.
Paulding Phelps Award: Awarded to a clinical rheumatologist for outstanding service to patients, community, and the profession of medicine. The recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award.
Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award: Awarded to a young physician scientist (age 45 or younger) who has made outstanding independent contributions to basic or clinical research in the field of rheumatology. The recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award.
ACR Masters: This is one of the highest honors the ACR bestows. The designation of Master is conferred on ACR members age 65 or older by October 1 who have made outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology through scholarly achievement and/or service to their patients, students, and profession. This recognition is usually given to no more than 15 members per year.
Stand Out from the Crowd: The ACR Seeks Volunteers
Volunteers who serve on the ACR’s committees and subcommittees are a vital component of the organization’s ability to respond to the rheumatology landscape. There are many complex issues facing the rheumatology subspecialty, and the dedicated members who choose to become involved drive the organization’s achievements in the areas of research, advocacy, training, recruitment, education, practice support, and the development of professional standards.
“It has been extraordinarily gratifying working on Committee on Rheumatologic Care, Regional Advisory Council, and now the new Affiliate Society Council, to be able to help improve the practice of rheumatology in this country,” says Al Denio, MD, chair of the ACR’s Affiliate Society Council and member of the Committee on Rheumatologic Care. “The volunteer members of these committees have worked hard to mitigate the obstructions, barriers, and administrative burdens imposed by various healthcare stakeholders that have had deleterious effects on the practice of rheumatology and rheumatic disease patients. The ACR has assembled a bright corps of full-time support staff that helps greatly; however, more clinical practice volunteers are needed to serve. Aiding the ACR’s efforts in sharing best practice strategies, both in the clinical as well as the business side of practice, are areas of ongoing need. If you are passionate about the practice of rheumatology, the ACR needs you. Be someone who cares and fights back for your practice and for your patients.”
While finding volunteers in clinical practice is often a challenge, the ACR needs dedicated volunteers in all areas of rheumatology (research, training, education, etc.) in order to continue its comprehensive work to improve rheumatology. The ACR recognizes that success in responding to the many challenges facing rheumatology depends on the effort of a diverse group of dedicated volunteers who represent all member constituencies.
The Committee on Nominations and Appointments encourages all members interested in volunteering to let the committee know how they might fit in to the ACR’s committee and subcommittee structure. It is very helpful for the committee to receive a statement of the areas in which a volunteer might be interested in working, along with a detailed description of relevant experience. Supporting letters from colleagues confirming or elucidating the member’s contributions and expertise are also helpful. All potential volunteers are carefully considered by the committee, and final decisions on nominations for committee positions are made based on the current needs for particular skills, as well as a consideration of demographic balance among committee members.
There are open positions on all ACR committees each year, and members are encouraged to express interest in committees that work in areas where they have interest and/or expertise.
The deadline to nominate yourself or a colleague for an ACR committee is June 1, 2008. Selected candidates will be notified in early September, and terms begin at the ACR’s Annual Scientific Meeting in October.
For a list of all leadership opportunities and committee descriptions, or to submit your nomination, visit www.rheumatology.org. For more information, contact Rachel Myslinski, senior specialist of administration and governance, at firstname.lastname@example.org.