I was really thrilled when Dr Mary Cardosa suggested to me that I do a project and present it in the 13th World Congress of Pain. I then proceeded with my project on “Is pain relief necessary for improvement in disability and psychology measures in chronic pain patient?” It was really such a huge honour to be given the chance of being able to present a poster in the most inaugurated pain meeting in the world. 

After a long 29 hours journey with a 9 hours stop in the Amsterdam airport, I finally arrived in Montreal for the meeting. The 13th World Congress was hold in Palais des Congres, which was one of the most well-known places for international meetings. It started of with refresher courses and SIG meetings on the 29th 2010. 

The opening ceremony started on the evening of 30th August, hosting more than 6300 delegates. It was so grand, that I thought I was attending the Academy Awards. Indeed, it was so well organized. It was noteworthy to mention that the tracking system that was used to track the attendance of delegates for the lectures, was most helpful. This makes signing for CME attendance looks rather outdated and ancient. 

The following 5 days was packed with days of activities, lectures, workshops and events. It was so thrilling to see eminent speakers and first author of distinguished journal to give their lectures here. Just imagine seeing and listening to Clifford J. Woolf, the person who described central sensitization in person. It was so exciting to see such a big mix of pain physicians, scientists, paramedics and physiotherapists in such a big meeting. 

Next come the poster presentation. With almost 500 poster presentations taking place each day of the congress in the exhibit hall, I was virtually amazed at how many research on pain, was going on in the whole world. It was such an honour to be able to present my poster, PT 462 with my co-author Dr Zubaidah Jamil Osman and Dr Mary Cardosa. It was quite thrilling , explaining regarding my poster findings to the other delegates. 

I have also attended the trainee networking reception during which we, the trainees were given the chance to meet the other pain trainees in the world, past and present presidents of IASP as well as committee members of the IASP. 

I have also had the privilege to meet our deputy director general of health, Datuk Dr Norhisham who has come to attend the International Pain Summit which was organized by IASP, as an advocacy event to emphasize the importance of pain management as a human right and create national strategies to help implement improved pain management worldwide. In the summit, Datuk Dr Norhisham touched on the ongoing pain management programs and initiatives in Malaysia. The current and new IASP president Eija Kalso, mentioned in the latest IASP newsletter that she was quite impressed with the positive and realistic approach used in improving the pain management in our country. She mentioned that “Malaysia is a good example of a country that has achieved much with little resources”. I think this is definitely something to be proud of. Thanks to the many pioneering efforts of all the pain physicians who have made such great contribution in promoting pain management in our country, we are definitely heading in a well guided direction. 

Indoubtedly,  the 13th World Congress of Pain is a great success. It was disheartening to see such a small representation from Malaysia, when there are so many more delegates from Thailand and Singapore. With such a comprehensive programme in the World Congress, it is of my opinion, that all pain management specialists and trainees, should work towards, attending the 14th World Congress of Pain in Yokohoma in 2012.