EPIC Scholarship Winner: Natalie Kiefer

To start, I would like to thank the group at Entropy Physiotherapy and the EPIC Scholarship for the amazing opportunity to attend PAINWeek 2018. What a week! I had the pleasure of spending five days in Las Vegas learning about pain and its clinical management in a multidisciplinary setting. Among the group were physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, psychologists, and many others. There were also a handful of other physical therapists attending and presenting at the conference.

The first thing that struck me about the conference was the thoughtful design and content presented. The halls of the conference were filled with creative and thought-provoking posters for each presentation. Some of my favorites that I attended (and just liked the design of) included:

As my own special interest, I was very much so looking forward to the lectures on pelvic pain. I now have some new tools in my toolbelt to treat this complex and intimate type of pain in our clinic. The International Pelvic Pain Society hosted a portion of the curriculum and addressed issues like endometriosis, dyspareunia, and vaginismus.

I was also encouraged to see the widespread education on opioid management. In the population that I work with through Indian Health Service (IHS), there has been a huge focus (like most other places) in addressing the overutilization of opioids for pain management. In particular, the Native American population has suffered from opioid abuse and addiction, with rates of overdose as high as three times greater than that of the general population. As a frontline clinician in pain management for this demographic, I am thrilled to have been provided with more education and insight on current best practices for managing those suffering from the opioid crisis.

It was a great week of learning with my colleagues and exploring such a fun city. With my infant daughter in tow, we were still able to see some of the beauty and excitement of Las Vegas, including attending a Cirque du Soleil show. It was a blast! Thank you again to all involved in the EPIC Scholarship. Your generosity serves not only individual clinicians but our profession as a whole as we move towards more evidence-based practice and clinical excellence through education!


Thank you to Natalie for writing about her experience at Pain Week 2018. My apologies for taking so long to post this!! Natalie was one of our TWO EPIC scholarship winners for 2018. Stay tuned for the next blog from our other recipient after the San Diego Pain Summit!