NEWS | December 1, 2016

UC Davis hosts symposium to address alleviating pain through collaboration

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.)

UC Davis leaders and faculty from diverse professions and disciplines assembled to help advance pain relief and improve quality of life at the 2016 Advancing Pain Relief Symposium at UC Davis.

Three UC Davis deans and a pain medicine expert together led a first-ever pain relief symposium seeking perspectives across disciplines and professions at UC Davis. From left, School of Nursing Dean Heather M. Young, School of Veterinary Medicine Dean Michael D. Lairmore, School of Medicine Dean Julie Freischlag, and international pain expert and physician, Scott Fishman.  Three UC Davis deans and a pain medicine expert together led a first-ever pain relief symposium seeking perspectives across disciplines and professions at UC Davis. From left, School of Nursing Dean Heather M. Young, School of Veterinary Medicine Dean Michael D. Lairmore, School of Medicine Dean Julie Freischlag, and international pain expert and physician, Scott Fishman.

Roughly 100 people gathered to break down barriers across professions and disciplines as well as create a network of faculty, researchers, policymakers and educators who seek to spark innovation and dramatically improve the quality of life for pain sufferers.

“We have the opportunity to seize the diverse expertise within our university, bring down invisible barriers and synergize our efforts in treating pain,” said Scott Fishman, director for the UC Davis Center for Advancing Pain Relief. “This event enabled us to showcase the work our colleagues are doing in pain beyond the clinical setting. Simply gathering in one place to discuss the pervasive problem of pain moved us closer to identifying areas for collaboration.”

Fishman said by working together, UC Davis can stem the tide of the national epidemic of inadequate, and too often harmful, pain management and lead innovations that will change how pain is addressed by health providers and taught by educators nationwide.

Fishman and Heather M. Young, associate vice chancellor for nursing and founding dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, lead the UC Davis Center for Advancing Pain Relief, which seeks a cultural transformation that advances the understanding of pain and expands what future clinicians learn.

“When we first started this work, Scott and I were focused on the clinical aspects of preparing clinicians to do a better job,” Young explained. “As we started to invite others to join us, we realized the tremendous contributions of others to this work. The solutions will not come out of one discipline. We all benefit from thinking about it more broadly.” 

At the symposium, leaders from UC Davis Health System, including the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, joined faculty from the UC Davis Schools of Law, Medicine, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine, as well as the Colleges of Biological Sciences, Agriculture, Engineering, and Letters and Sciences to share and showcase their diverse work that contributes to informing and relieving the complex problem of pain.

“Different people approach pain from different aspects,” added Michael D. Larimore, dean of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “When we get people together around a common theme, that’s a good thing. When they find a solution, that’s even better.”

Fishman says the symposium is the beginning of collaboration and working across campuses and across disciplines to advance the work of pain relief.

For a video recap of the event, click here. For more information on the Center for Advancing Pain Relief, click here.