Effective strategies in pain research and pain management include a growing emphasis on the collaborative efforts between clinicians and researchers working to identify novel therapeutic targets, predictive factors responsible for the onset of acute and chronic pain, and the evaluation of innovative strategies of pain management. For the continued development of novel pain management strategies a commitment is needed to multidisciplinary interventions utilizing state-of-the-art knowledge developed by individuals trained in the complexities of the biological and psychosocial components of pain. To prepare the next generation of pain scientists to meet these challenges we need to create training opportunities with programmatic structure that incorporate the diverse backgrounds and expertise of training faculty backed by a strong institutional commitment that exists in a collaborative environment. The training program developed at the University of Florida has taken strides to accomplish these objectives by offering training opportunities in eight diverse areas of research. At the foundation of the training program is an outstanding pain research community characterized by a spirit of collaboration responsible for a comprehensive program consisting of didactic and research components as well as required exposure to clinical and basic research environments. The program contains: (a) a well balanced core curriculum;(b) provisions to enhance diversity;(c) a component dealing with the ethical conduct of research;and (d) steps to ensure the program meets the needs of trainees in areas of research, education, and professional development. Due to the escalating prevalence of chronic pain conditions in our society, the University of Florida pain research community recognizes the need to produce a new generation of pain specialists that will be able to contribute to the improved understanding and effective management of acute and chronic pain. The goal of the program is to produce individuals equipped to develop independent clinical and/or basic science research programs and to instill in these individuals an appreciation for the benefits of collaborative, multidisciplinary, translational programs in meeting the present and future challenges in the field of pain research.
The increasing challenge presented by the management of chronic pain requires new strategies of intervention. To meet these challenges the next generation of pain scientist will need to be trained in a way that emphasizes the application of research findings to the human condition. The proposed training program emphasizes integration and translation as well as a commitment to a new era of pain research.
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