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Pain Medicine: What you need to know

The Medical Council recognises 57 medical specialties for the purposes of specialist registration in Ireland. Five new specialties have been recognised in the past two years, and this article explains the specialty of Pain Medicine, which was recognised in 2014.


What is Pain Medicine?
Pain Medicine involves the diagnosis and treatment of patients with chronic pain (lasting more than 3 months), cancer pain and the prevention of acute pain (classically postoperative pain) becoming chronic. It is practiced internationally on a multidisciplinary basis informed by the latest developments in neuroscience.


What do patients need to know?
The specialty of Pain Medicine is concerned with the diagnosis of the cause of pain, prevention of chronicity of pain, treatment and rehabilitation. Pain Medicine specialists can treat a range of conditions, from spinal pain such as back and neck pain, cancer pain, chronic headache and nerve pain such as trigeminal neuralgia. Patients can talk to their GP to see if a referral to a pain medicine specialist would assist in the management of pain.


What do doctors need to know?
The Faculty of Pain Medicine of the College of Anaesthetists is responsible for training, education and standards of practice in Pain Medicine in Ireland. There is a National Training Scheme. A Consultant in Pain Medicine possesses a Certificate of Specialist Training in a prior speciality such as Anaesthesia, has completed a two-year full-time training programme in recognized training posts and passed both parts of the Faculty of Pain Medicine examination. Referring doctors can contact the Faculty of Pain Medicine, CAI for contact details of Pain Medicine specialists in Ireland.

View The Faculty of Pain Medicine