"Translating science into treatment" 
Prof. Hans G. Kress, President of the European Pain Federation EFIC
At the 8th EFIC Congress 2013 “Pain in Europe VIII” in one week 4,000 pain specialists will look ahead to what the future will bring for pain medicine and patients. Could you give us two examples?
Visceral pain, which is also the main topic of the European Year against Pain, is the spotlight of this congress. The keynote lecture by Professor Fernando Cervero on: “Basic Science and Mechanisms of Visceral Pain” is a good example of “translating science into treatment”, which is also the title of a lecture given by Professor Quasim Aziz. Besides visceral pain, opioids and the societal impact of opioid use and abuse are among the hot topics to be discussed at this congress.
The conference motto is “twenty years of building bridges”. Which bridges does "Pain in Europe" build?
In general, for this congress the scientific programme committee has particularly focused on the translational aspects in pain medicine building the bridge from the bench to the bedside.
Anesthesiologists and pain physicians from other specialties share the brain and the nervous system as the target organ of their professional work. Chronic pain management is a true challenge to a physician, because it requires broad knowledge and experience in different fields and specialties of medicine as well as a deep understanding of the underlying physiological and psychological mechanisms involved. It is both this bio-psycho-social approach and the interdisciplinary collaboration which we have attempted to reflect in the congress motto.
Why did you choose Florence as destination?
After the first 20 years of EFIC, the European Pain Federation returns to Italy, where the first EFIC Congress was held in 1995 in Verona. Moreover, Italy was among the founding member societies of EFIC® in 1993. Finally, Florence is one of the most attractive venues in Europe and boasts a very accommodating conference center close to the downtown area.
Why is the biennial conference important for EFIC?
In 2013, the 8th Congress of the European Federation of IASP Chapters (EFIC) will be held under the headline “20 years of building bridges” in honour of the society’s 20th anniversary. The congress will cover the whole spectrum of the field from basic research and genetics to clinical practice and practical workshops. With more than 120 invited speakers from all over the world, but predominantly from Europe, EFIC 2013 is the most important and biggest conference on pain this year.
What are the three top challenges for your federation these days?
The first goal is to establish, improve and standardize undergraduate education on pain management across Europe! Secondly, to make pain medicine a priority on the political agenda of EU Institutions and national governments. Thirdly, to install pain medicine as a subspecialty or specialty in as many as possible European countries.
The European Pain Federation EFIC is a multidisciplinary professional organisation in the field of pain research and medicine. Established in 1993, EFIC’s constituent chapters represent Pain Societies from 36 European countries and close to 20,000 physicians, basic researchers, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and other healthcare professionals across Europe, who are involved in pain management and pain research. The 8th biennial EFIC congress "Pain in Europe VIII" will be held in Florence, Italy, at the Firenze Fiera Congress & Exhibition Center Fortezza da Basso from 9 to 12 October 2013. w w w. efic. org