Indian Society for Study of Pain (ISSP) is a professional body representing, medical professionals working in the field of Pain Medicine. It’s a not for profit organisation and exists for the benefit of its members in general and development of pain speciality in particular. The society was formed in 1984; it is committed for patient care, education, training and research in Pain Medicine.
In early 80’s a group of medical professionals working with motto of pain relief came together and thought of having a common platform wherein they can scientifically discuss and find solutions for pain related issues and conduct research in basic science related to pain. In January 1984, the first meeting was held under the chairmanship of Prof BC Katiyar, Neurologist (IMS, Varanasi) with Dr K Pandey, Dr MT Bhatia, Dr Sudarshan Yajnik, Dr Sushila Shah, Dr Akram lal, Dr V Rastogi, Dr P Kumar and other keenly interested professionals. All these legends became founder members of ISSP. The thought of coming together energized the like-minded professionals and thus Indian Society for Study of Pain was born on July 9th in the year 1984 at Varanasi.
The first annual national conference of ISSP was held in January 1985 with Dr Akram lal as President, Dr V Rastogi as Secretary & Dr P Kumar as Treasurer. Dr K Pandey wrote the constitution of ISSP comprising of memorandum, rules & regulations, which are same even today with some minor modifications.
During the same period some more group of medical associations working towards same goal as ISSP had already evolved. Over course of time all these associations integrated with ISSP. In 1986, the association spearheaded by Dr MT Bhatia joined the mainstream with ISSP & by 2001; ISPRAT led by Dr KN Sharma also joined ISSP. With these mergers of other associations, ISSP became more stronger and started showing robust growth.
The Indian Journal of Pain (called as ‘Indpain’ at inception) was published in the year 1985 with Dr Sudarshan Yajnik as the first editor. Initially the journal was being published twice a year now with increasing number of contributors it has been made three times a year. It is being published on par with International standards.
In 1987, ISSP became a chapter of International Association for Study of Pain. Within the country, we have formation of state chapters and city branches with independent functioning but governed by and large the same constitution.
The first city branch was Varanasi in 1984 & first regional branch was Vidarbha branch at Wardha. Subsequently many city and state branches have been formed all over the country.
It was soon appreciated that status of pain physicians can only improve if they are academically at par with other medical specialities. Many Pain Physicians showed exemplary determination and courage to start the short-term courses in Training budding Pain Physicians at various locations in India with strong support from ISSP. ISSP members started writing handbooks; textbooks and some members went ahead with fellowship programmes and postdoctoral courses in pain management. It yielded great results; many pain clinics emerged all over the country to assist people in alleviating pain.
Annual conference is conducted every year during first week of February, with the rotation of venue to major towns in India. Over the years, the annual conference has become very popular and attracts large number of delegates both from within and outside India. State of the art industrial exhibition, cultural and sight- seeing programme, in addition to the highly academic scientific programme remain the major attraction at the conference. As ISSP was growing in strength and organisational commitments started increasing, the Mid-Term Meeting of Executive Council was initiated to facilitate smooth functioning of ISSP in the year 2003.
In the year 2003, ISSP joined hands with neighbouring countries in South Asian Region to be part of South Asian Federation of Societies working on Pain. ISSP has strong cordial relation not only with IASP but also Asia Pacific region societies. In fact ISSP is one of the powerful force to reckon with in Asia Pacific region. ISSP celebrated its Silver Jubilee of Formation in 2009 at Hyderabad and Silver Jubilee Conference at Jabalpur in 2010.
ISSP is committed for education and creating awareness about pain and its management. This has been made possible because of devotion & and excellent work of all members of ISSP. The society started its own website in 2005 and the website provides organizational details of the society and has interactive programmes www.issp-pain.org. Society in the formative years sustained many hardships and segregation, where as now we are united, independent and progressive. Improved communication facilities in the society and enhancement of educational programmes, brought the involvement of members in the society matters.
To encourage the members to acquire new knowledge and skill; various fellowship programmes were started in 2008 by ISSP. The fellowship programmes include IASP & ISSP fellowships of one-month duration at various centres from across the country. There are many awards and prizes for deserving members.
The society emblem designed in 1984 went through a change in colour and a new emblem and a flag was brought in to use from 2009, thanks to Hyderabad team of ISSPCON2009. The flag is blue in colour, which expresses stability. The logo comes at the centre of flag with an outer red circle symbolizing energy and strength and inside this circle there is a blue ring depicting wisdom and confidence. On the blue ring it’s boldly written ‘INDIAN SOCIETY FOR STUDY OF PAIN’ with a mention of year of formation “1984”. Inside the blue ring with white background indicating purity and perfection we have the outline of our nation India in green colour with emphasis on pan-india lively presence. The outline of India is surrounded by three words “PAIN, THERAPY & RESEARCH” in red colour which is the motto, vision and passion of ISSP.
The emblem of Caduceus, with herald’s staff entwined with serpents represents be as wise as serpents around staff of Hermes or Mercury (representing universal solvent) and thou shall be harmless to absorb everything for benefit of world.
Apart from these activities, ISSP is in the forefront of academic arena. The ISSP life members are actively participating not only in city, state and national events but also at international level.
The board of control of the society rests with the governing council chaired by the president of the society. The secretary, assisted by the treasurer, runs the administration of the society office. The governing council is the apex body and the council members are elected at the annual general body meeting.
To promote the various branches in Pain Medicine, we are in the process of forming special interest groups (SIG). The SIG will have specific academic and business sessions oriented towards laying guidelines and research in the sub speciality practice.
Apart from Indian Journal of Pain, we have publications at state and city branch levels. We do have at present 13 state chapters and 10 city branches. ISSP is promoting research activities and we have established certain awards and medals to activate the research work as well as organizational activities. We are in the process of publishing ‘monographs’ on clinical practice in pain and ‘Guidelines’ in pain practice & of course many more to come.
We need to conquer many hurdles and accomplish many things; we believe in the statement “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”
Long Live ISSP
Dr. (Maj) Pankaj N Surange
Hon. Secretary, ISSP