I was recently asked what I would say to someone who was considering taking the Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP)® Examination. When I took my FIPP exam in 2007, I already had 10 years of interventional pain practice, excellent training, and felt quite confident in my daily routine. By chance, I met some colleagues who suggested me to take the FIPP exam. I did not feel I really needed it, but found the idea interesting. Well, I didn’t know how much this exam would change my professional life.
Locally, my daily practice improved significantly. The FIPP certification made me feel more confident, I was up to date with my readings and also with my techniques. Interestingly, it also had an important impact on my referrals, as local physicians knew they had a real specialist to talk to and not just another anesthesiologist doing pain.
Nationally, it helped me build up our interventional pain society, and I based our post-graduate education on clear and validated criteria to set up and develop the pain specialty. I also knew I could count on the support of my FIPP peers for questions and exchanges.
Internationally, it was probably for me the biggest surprise. I got invited to teach, and to examine colleagues who now are close friends, people with whom I have frequent exchanges. We have common projects and learn from each other.
For me, the FIPP exam and the WIP organization in general changed my understanding of pain and made me a part of a worldwide network; I now feel part of this professional family!
I hope these words will encourage you to study for and take the Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP)® Examination in the near future. It changed my life, and will change yours as well!