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The 2023 decision of the Fondazione Internazionale Menarini (FIM), to organize a series of educational events dedicated to Pain Medicine has been appreciated very much. Hence, we are at the second edition just in a few weeks. “Past, present and future in Pain Medicine” in Cancun was a thrilling experience, especially because a structured education on Pain Medicine is still lacking in large part of the world.

This time we are in the Mediterranean area, cradle of deep classical cultures, and where our modern medicine was born. Historically, we could find the roots of pain medicine in most of our cultural heritages. Both Asklipios (Ασκλήπιος) and Hippocrates were concerned about pain of their “patients”, and addressed their cares to pain relief. The roots are even deeper in the Roman medicine deriving and taught by the Etruscans medicine, believed to be the best at that time because based on phytotherapy, but already including surgery. It is just useless to discuss of the advanced medicine of ancient Egypt, where the first knowledges belong to the first monarchical era (2700 BC). Herodotus was used to define the Egyptians “people of the very healthy”, thanks to the important health system they possessed, and to the existence of a doctor for every infirmity (first indication of specialization in the medical field, in the history of the mankind).

In the more recent times, the Mediterranean cradle has produced extraordinary physicians, like Tawhida Ben Cheikh. She was born in Tunis, in 1908, and has represented a light, an illuminating beacon, an example, for all the women of her age and the future generations. She was particularly interested to the health conditions in the women, including, but not limited to the family planning, and pain in women.

Now, Tunis is hosting the second edition of “Past, present and future in Pain Medicine”, with the support of several important Colleagues, especially women, interested in Pain Medicine and devoted to reduce the sufferance of their patients. They accepted with enthusiasm the invitation of the FIM to organize an important educational event, which may represent a new experience and a driving force for the young generations. Pain Medicine deserves the maximum of our attention, because, as our Great Guru, John Bonica (born in the Mediterranean), was used to say: patients should never suffer.

As a responsible for the organization of the scientific program, I would deeply thank all the Colleagues and Friends, who were such for large part of my life dedicated to Pain Medicine. They have accepted with enthusiasm to participate in this event and share their knowledge with all of us. All of them are strongly convinced of the importance to exchange information and learn from others the difficult art of reducing the sufferance of the humanity.

As we know from recent, dramatic news, this is not always interpreted as a simple and “transparent” mission. When facing suffering people, it could be easy to be attracted by easy earnings. Ethics and comprehension are crucial aspects for a Pain Physician. Maybe in one of the future editions of this educational event, the program will also focuses on these aspects, and not only on the science and the evidence-based results of studies on drugs or on interventional techniques, like it is in this occasion. Who will live will see (qui vivra verra).

Meanwhile, we all hope that you will enjoy the efforts of the FIM to diffuse the good, ethical knowledges on Pain Medicine, and to stimulate new finalized dreams in all of us, but especially in the new generations. The Paolo Procacci Foundation, requested to help with the scientific program, has tried to do its best. We all hope that you will appreciate and enjoy it.

Giustino Varrassi

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