APS Pain in Childhood SIG update

By Arno Ebner, Paediatrician in Cairns, QLD

Dear colleagues,

20181217_Photo_Arno_Ebner

Dr Arno Ebner

After a long season of absence in my new role as the APS Pain in Childhood (PinC) Special Interest Group (SIG) communications officer I want to start now with my first blog. My apologies for the long time it took, I guess I have lots of various excuses.

I have never blogged before, but I will keep this one alive with a monthly contribution in 2019 and I invite everyone to send me interesting articles, topics and news worthwhile sharing here.

This blog is great, and I would be very interested to know how my fellow PinC SIG members would like it to develop and what other alternative communication channels you would find useful. What social media would work best for you? Is the blog enough? There are so many ways of exchanging news and knowledge nowadays. Many of us are probably members of other interest groups and we have a choice or preferences for email lists, blogs, twitter, newsletters, social media pages etc. I personally often find it difficult to keep pace with the possibilities. For myself I usually only use emails which is great for email lists like the lively International Pediatric Pain Mailing List or to receive newsletters like the greatly informative monthly APS editions. I like the convenience here, the news just come to me without me needing to check various sites or even needing to log in to see if there is an update. But then again, while email lists are wonderful for inspiring discussions, with many members contributing I easily receive many more emails then I can mentally process in a normal working day.

So please tell me what you would like to see here, and how I can ensure you get the news you want. Please contact me via the APS Secretariat.

As a short introduction to myself, I have been working as a bulk billing and private Paediatrician for the Cairns Doctors and for low socio-economic area school clinics in tropical Far North Queensland since October 2018. I was originally trained as a Paediatric nurse in Berlin, Germany and after an excursion into Geophysics I specialised in Paediatrics at the Ernst Moritz Arndt University Children’s Hospital in Greifswald, Germany with part of my training in New Orleans, USA and Hamilton, Canada. From 2008-2015 I worked as a Paediatrician and senior lecturer in General Paediatrics and Paediatric Oncology in Timaru and Wellington, New Zealand before moving to rural Australia. I became a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2012. My special interest in paediatric pain developed during my time in Wellington caring for children with cancer and dealing with an increasing number of complex pain patients in my general paediatric outpatient clinics.

Coming to more rural areas I realised how difficult it is to provide holistic multidisciplinary pain care to my paediatric patients, be it the lack of available resources and services or the lack of affordability for the most deprived families who can’t afford gap fees or even the fuel costs to see me. The 2019 IASP theme is the Global Year Against Pain in the Most Vulnerable which is where I will focus on.

In my next blog in January 2019 I will start a list of internet resources for parents, caregivers and children and adolescents with chronic and persistent pain. If you followed the recent email thread of the International Pediatric Pain Mailing List, there was a great interest for online integrative pain management resources for our clients, especially for those of us who, like me, do not work in the metropolitan areas and don’t have easy access to allied health services experienced in chronic pain management.

There were many replies and I am currently collating our colleagues’ recommendations and hope this will be a useful resource for many of us.

Kind regards and have a wonderful time over the holiday season!