News Release

Date: April 12, 2006 

UCSD School of Medicine and the Diana Padelford Binkley Foundation Present a Unique Educational Conference on Pain Management in Women 

 

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and the Diana Padelford Binkley Foundation will present a conference targeted to medical practitioners, Pain Management in Women over the Lifecycle, April 27-29, at the Catamaran Hotel in San Diego.  The conference will focus on the biology, psychology and treatment of pain in women and will feature expert speakers in these areas.  A unique aspect of the conference is its goal of bringing together medical practitioners – including UCSD Medical Center researchers – with proponents of alternative medicine, to discuss issues related to treatment of pain in women and how it may differ from treatment for similar symptoms in men.

Women's health including issues related to pain have been neglected at the research bench, in the halls of public policy and in clinical settings,” said Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal, M.D., former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women's Health, now clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown and Tufts University Schools of Medicine.  “Yet, important sex differences exist at the molecular, cellular, and organ systems levels, in drug metabolism, and in the way environmental factors impact health and disease in women and men.  With a new national focus on women's health over the past decade, knowledge has expanded and services are now targeting women's unique needs.”

Speakers scheduled for this conference include Blumenthal; Margaret Chesney, Ph.D., Deputy Director, National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine; Esther Sternberg, M.D., from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH); and Ursula Wesselman, M.D., Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University.  Faculty presenters from UCSD School of Medicine include Lewis L. Judd, M.D., chair of psychiatry, and Mark S. Wallace, M.D., professor of anesthesiology and director of the Pain Clinic at UCSD’s Thornton Hospital.

“It is vital that physicians and caregivers understand that women may experience pain quite differently than men do, and respond differently to treatment options,” said Wallace.  “This conference provides an opportunity to discuss how non-traditional, non-invasive treatments such as acupuncture, meditation and exercise can complement more traditional strategies to help relieve pain in women patients.”

The goals of the conference are to improve awareness of the prevalence and severity of pain in women; provide specific information regarding the most common pain syndromes in women over the life cycle, including prevalence, anatomy, physiology, etiology, patient assessment, diagnosis, and treatment; review what is known about sex differences in the pain response and treatment approaches; discuss approaches to patient education that target women’s unique needs; evaluate treatment options for women, including pharmacologic approaches, behavioral interventions and complementary medicine; address when to treat and when to refer for appropriate consultation; nurture sensitivity and empathy for women patients suffering from pain, and encourage physicians to devote the time and energy necessary to reduce patient suffering; and to increase awareness of how suffering may differ in women with acute and terminal illnesses and how these conditions may alter evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Additional information on the conference is available at http://cme.ucsd.edu/pmwomen

About the Diana Padelford Binkley Foundation (“The Diana Foundation”)

This conference was initiated by the Diana Padelford Binkley Foundation (“The Diana Foundation”), established in 2004 as a charitable institution in memory of Diana Binkley.  Binkley was a yoga and vedic chanting instructor who personally used alternative medical treatments, including herbal remedies and acupuncture, along with more traditional Western drugs when necessary.  She died in August 2003 following complications from treatment caused by a herniated disc.

The Foundation was established to provide information and facilitate dialogue between Western physicians, alternative medicine practitioners, and patients and family members regarding the diagnosis, treatment and management of pain in women.   The Foundation has underwritten research on the incidence of steroid-induced psychosis, and on gender bias in clinical trials for new prescription medications that may adversely affect women’s health.  Through continuing research and education in pain management and related areas, the Foundation aims to assist patients and physicians in treating difficult medical conditions in women through the lifecycle.  Additional information is available at the website www.dianafoundation.com 

Media Contact: Debra Kain, 619-543-6163, ddkain@ucsd.edu 

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