September 24, 2003

The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine will be one of three best-test sites for a new web-based curriculum on pain medicine, a national advisory board announced in September.

In the next several months, the first two modules of the curriculum will be tested at TCOM, the Morehouse School of Medicine and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. The complete â??virtual textbookâ? will be available to medical students across the country next fall.

â??An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from persistent pain, yet most medical students donâ??t take a single course focused on treating pain,â? said Marc B. Hahn, DO, TCOM dean, who is a member of the Advisory Committee for Pain Education organized by the American Academy of Pain Medicine. â??That is about to change.â?

For the past two years, Dr. Hahn has been serving on the advisory committee through his role as AAPM past president. The effort is chaired by Louis Sullivan, MD, former Secretary of Health and Human Services. Other members include former Surgeon General David Satcher, MD, and representatives from leading medical schools and medical education organizations.

The team drew on thousands of hours of instructional and clinical experience to develop the virtual textbookâ??s nine modules and self-test section.

At a news conference Sept. 8 in Washington, DC, the committee announced their plans to fill the gap in educating new doctors on treating pain.

The initiative, called TOP MED (Topics on Pain Medicine) is a â??virtual textbookâ? on treating patients of all ages suffering from different types of pain. It will eventually be made available free of charge to medical students across the country.

â??Because TOP MED is web-based and self-directed, medical students will be able to learn when and where it is convenient for them,â? Dr. Hahn said. â??Student can repeat modules until they have mastered the material and whenever they want to refresh their knowledge of pain medicine.â?


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