One in five New Zealanders live with persistent pain, and clinical senior lecturer, Dr Bronwyn Lennox Thompson, wants New Zealand to adopt a “National Pain Strategy” to help coordinate the efforts of all of the helping organisations.
Dr Thompson was interviewed by Newstalk ZB's Kate Hawkesby after she and co-authors recently published the outcome of their chronic pain research in the New Zealand Journal of Medicine.
When asked why some doctors write pain off as attention seeking, Thompson responds "you can't see it, nobody else knows what it's like to feel your pain, but really a lot of the problem is because we just don't have enough training in the medical and other health sciences undergraduate programmes."
Dr Thompson works as a clinical senior lecturer in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine at the University of Otago's Christchurch campus, which is co-located with the Christchurch Hospital.
“Our Department hosts the only postgraduate pain and pain management, and musculoskeletal medicine and management programme in New Zealand”, says Thompson. “I've glimpsed the benefits on offer from a cohesive pain management approach that works across all health professions.”