I began my medical career in the United Kingdom nearly two decades ago. Back then, preceding the ‘chronic disease epidemic’, medical education had a heavy focus on acute illness. I learnt very little about chronic pain and thought very little of it at the time.
It wasn't until I'd been in practice for several years, observing increasing rates of chronic pain in my patients, that I realised something was missing from my education. From that point on, I immersed myself in the medical literature on persistent pain. I wanted to learn all I could to better serve my pain patients. The more I discovered, the more interested I became. I also became increasingly passionate about sharing my newfound knowledge with patients and their families. It was amazing to see the impact pain science education could have on the life of someone living with pain.
Shortly after moving to Western Australia in 2015, I was invited by the Painless team to present the ‘Making Sense of Pain’ module of their educational group program. It was my first experience working in a multidisciplinary environment for pain care. I enjoyed it so much that I soon joined the Painless team in practice. I now work with people managing a range of pain conditions, alongside a diverse team of pain experts.
Having witnessed the suffering chronic pain can cause a person, I place equally high importance on helping someone improve their overall quality of life as I do on reducing their pain. For most, this means combining medical interventions with active self-management strategies. Together, these tools can enhance your independence and return meaning to your life.