Pain Relief Ireland

Prof Hegarty appointed as the first formal Professor of Pain Medicine at University College Cork (UCC)

Pain Relief Ireland are delighted to announce the appointment of Prof Dominic Hegarty by UCC School of Medicine to the position of Professor in Pain Medicine.

Prof Hegarty spoke with the Medical Independent (MI) about his new appointment, the complexities of pain management, and the current landscape for pain medicine in Ireland.

“A constant failing of the university education structure is the constant weakness in pain medicine and teaching medical students and graduates how to manage pain. Pain never really registered and wasn’t on the curriculum – it was almost an afterthought,” said Prof Hegarty. “With that in mind, UCC stated that pain medicine would be a priority for them moving forward to meet the needs of the undergraduate structure in all kinds of ways.”

The creation of the post is vital for undergraduates and, in the longer term, for patients. The position itself is not simply a lecturing role, but also involves helping to put in place plans to enhance the curriculum, rather than just delivering periodical lectures.  “The objective is to structure the curriculum in such a way that the direct-entry and graduate-entry programmes in medicine get an overview from top-to-tail,” he said.  “My objective is to take these students from an early stage, through years three-to-five, and ultimately when they get out on their intern programmes and training, where pain is going to be an important topic both practically and academically, and even scientifically from time-to-time. That’s the kind of flow-through that needs to be put together, rather than a 60-minute chat about how to deal with a patient in pain. “

I think it’s very important, because pain affects one-in-five of the population. I think it’s probably the single greatest reason someone visits a GP’s office, and certainly to an emergency department – because they are in pain,” he continued. “But when they get there, perhaps the clinician might not have the skillset to move forward with their treatment, unless they have a particular interest in pain. So that’s where this is going to fit into the model and I think it’s wonderful.”

Our mission at Pain Relief Ireland is to be the leader in patient care, education and outcome oriented clinical pain medicine. Prof. Hegarty has led the expansion of treatment options for our patients over the last decade and continues to expand the academic and research potential nationally and internationally. We salute Professor Hegarty and are delighted to have him as Clinical Director of Pain Relief Ireland.

Read the full Medical Independent (MI) article here:

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