Interfaculty Pain Curriculum

Each March, approximately 1,000 students from health disciplines across the University of Toronto including medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and physician assistants take part in an educational series – though large-group and small-group learning sessions – related to current research and understanding of pain, and clinical practice in pain management.

This three-day interfaculty pain curriculum (IPC) is developed and delivered by the U of T Centre for the Study of Pain (UTCSP), a group of scholars, educators and clinicians from the Faculties of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. Using cases based on typical patients, students complete comprehensive assessments of multiple factors that contribute to the pain experience. They practice developing pain care plans, describe multi-professional and interprofessional strategies for collaborative pain practice, and consider ethical, legal, social, and political issues that may impact on patients’ pain outcomes. The individual faculties also provide discipline-specific content to their students during a 3 hour session, embedded within the three-day curriculum.

The Centre for Advancing Collaborative Healthcare & Education (CACHE) provides governance and oversight for this curriculum. Each year, the IPC organizers present the UTCSP-IPC Evaluation Subcommittee Report to the U of T Interfaculty Curriculum Committee (IFCC). Measures reported include the following:

MD students studying - Mississauga Campus

Student Pain Knowledge and Beliefs Pre- and Post-tests

Medical students talking

Student Daily Content and Process Questionnaires

Students working with a model

Evaluation of students’ Interdisciplinary Pain Management Plans, developed by small groups

Researchers talking

Demonstration of Interprofessional Competencies using the Interprofessional Collaboration Assessment Rubric

In reviewing the report, the IFCC ensures that the goals of the curriculum are being met and that the pedagogic approach incorporates best practices for interprofessional education.

Questions about the interprofessional pain curriculum or its oversight can be directed to