Harmony Medicine Blog

Part II: Why Pain Management Is Important

Last month, in our “What is Pain Management” series we took a look at the definition of chronic pain, how it’s diagnosed, and some of the most common medical treatments for those who suffer from chronic pain. This month we’ll dive into pain management board certification and what it takes to become a certified pain management provider.

Part II of IV: What is Involved in Pain Management Board Certification?

If you suffer from chronic pain, relief may seem like a distant dream. However, take comfort in knowing that medical practitioners who are certified by the American Board of Pain Medicine (ABPM) or American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) are rigorously vetted and are committed to helping you find solutions. The mission of ABA is “To advance the highest standards of the practice of anesthesiology. As the certifying body for anesthesiologists since 1938, the ABA is committed to partnering with physicians to advance lifelong learning and exceptional patient care.”

Interdisciplinary pain management involves a team of healthcare practitioners who are dedicated to working with you to find the right interventions and strategies for your individual needs. A well-rounded pain management treatment never focuses exclusively on the pain, but instead takes a holistic approach, so you can help be an active part in shaping the treatment of your pain and paving the way for a fuller, happier lifestyle.

While you’re the most important member of the team, other pain management team members may include your primary care physician, board certified pain management diplomates, nurse practitioners, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, family members, nutritionists, and others. “The expertise of several disciplines is brought together in an effort to provide the maximum benefit to each patient. Although the care of patients is heavily influenced by the primary specialty of physicians who subspecialize in pain medicine, each member of the pain treatment team understands the anatomical and physiological basis of pain perception, the psychological factors that modify the pain experience, and the basic principles of pain medicine” (ABA).

Tennessee’s Department of Health adopted regulations that require physicians who serve as directors of a pain management clinic to be certified by the ABPM or the ABA.

In order to sit for the 2017 ABA Pain Management Exam in September, candidates must:

  • be certified by the ABA.
  • hold an unexpired license to practice medicine or osteopathy in at least one state or jurisdiction of the United States or province of Canada that is permanent, unconditional and unrestricted. Further, every United States and Canadian medical license the registrant holds must be free of restrictions.
  • have fulfilled the 12-month ACGME-accredited pain medicine fellowship training.
  • attest to their current privileges and clinical activity in pain medicine (practicing PM, on average, at least one day per week during 12 consecutive months over the previous three years.
  • be capable of performing independently the entire scope of the pain medicine practice without accommodation or with reasonable accommodation.
  • be meeting the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program (MOCA) requirements.

Dr. Richard Adkins is an ABA-diplomate who specializes in effectively treating and managing your pain. We hope you’ll check in with us soon! Upcoming posts in our pain management blog series will help you find the right pain management center for your needs and will discuss how ethical pain management solutions can reduce opioid addiction and abuse.

To learn more about pain management and live life to its fullest, contact Harmony Medicine today.