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Landmark appointment as World Institute of Pain elects first-ever Irish President

By Pat Kelly - 28th Jun 2023

The World Institute of Pain (WIP) has announced that Consultant in Pain Management and Neuromodulation Prof Dominic Hegarty has been elected as the new President of the Institute. Elected by his peers, Prof Hegarty took up the role recently and is the first Irish physician to hold the Presidency in the 30 years of the organisation’s existence. Prof Hegarty is also Clinical Director at the Mater Private Hospital, Cork; Associate Professor of Pain Medicine at University College Cork (UCC); Honorary Consultant in Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London; Clinical Lead in Neuromodulation Research, Tyndall National Institute, UCC; and Clinical Director at Pain Relief Ireland. 

Over the years, Prof Hegarty has hosted the World Congress in Dublin and was in charge of restructuring WIP financially, and has served as President-elect in one of the most challenging periods in the history of pain medicine, as we went through and emerged from the pandemic. Prof Hegarty has previously stated that his vision for WIP is “to be the global leader in interventional pain education and to promote excellence in pain management so that pain physicians can provide all patients with the best care possible”. Prof Hegarty is the 15th President of the WIP, which has more than 4,000 members worldwide.

Speaking with the Medical Independent (MI) about his appointment, Prof Hegarty said: “Taking over as president is an enormous honour for Ireland, University College Cork and Tyndall National Institute of Research. I am delighted to bring my experience to this position over the next two years. Attaining the support of my peers is quite humbling and I am aware of the challenges that lie ahead for our members and for the Medtech industry.”

Prof Hegarty explained that the primary role of WIP is as an educational organisation, and it is the only globally accredited training programme for interventional pain physicians. “As an organisation, we had to deal with many issues in different regions during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he told MI. “I believe we supported the resumption of pain services effectively and we have brought back our examination programme. The number of candidates sitting the Fellowship examination has increased by 30 per cent in the last 12 months, and this has brought a renewed sense of belief and comradery in the pain community globally.”

Prof Hegarty also commented on Ireland’s world-renowned reputation for pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing, currently hosting nine of the world’s top-10 pharmaceutical companies and 18 of the top 25 Medtech companies based on annual sales and revenue. “It is important that in my time as President, WIP learns to work alongside this expertise to improve the future of pain medicine by researching and developing new products to help improve the quality of life for the 20 per cent of the world’s population who live with chronic pain,” he said.

To learn more about WIP, visit www.worldinstituteofpain.org/.

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