The importance of chronic pain education was put on display this week at the University of Miami’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, where Alyssa Dickens, sister of Florida ambassador Melanie Dickens, is a student. Alyssa, who calls herself the “biggest advocate for my sister,” felt that her program was missing some much-needed education on chronic pain. So Alyssa invited her sister and U.S. Pain President and Founder Paul Gileno to come speak to students on Sept. 26.

Alyssa felt the need to highlight chronic pain to the entire class and give a face to the disease that plagues millions across the country. While physical therapists are well-versed on the treatment and healing of acute pain, more training is needed on the treatment and management of chronic pain patients.

Alyssa reflected, “The lecture with the U.S. Pain Foundation was a great experience to add to our final week of didactic work before heading out on our clinical rotations. It was a nice way to bring together everything we have learned from this program and see it expressed by individuals with chronic pain. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity, and now I am excited to go out there in the clinic and make my sister and family proud!”

Not only is she making her family proud, but her willingness to educate the medical field about chronic pain is a step in the right direction for all. “Alyssa’s willingness to educate her entire class on the difficulties and necessity of chronic pain is not only inspiring, but also gives us hope that this type of education will continue, slowly but surely, with the help of individuals like her,” said Gileno.

To read Alyssa’s blog about the day, please visit: