Pain is one of the primary symptoms experienced by patients with a serious illness. In the majority of cases, we can achieve satisfactory pain control with tried and true pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions. Occasionally we have patients who experience complex pain, pain that doesn’t seem to respond to our normal bag of tricks. Participants in this Webinar will learn about best practices in the assessment of complex pain, how determination of the pathogenesis of the pain drives therapeutic decision-making, how to switch between opioids, and how and when to deploy use of medications such as methadone and ketamine. Not for the faint of heart, all practitioners should participate in this Webinar. Warning: buckle your seatbelt!

Learning Outcomes

      • Describe best practices in the assessment of complex pain
      • Describe how identifying the likely pathogenesis of pain complaints drives management strategies (pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic)
      • Given a simulated patient, use current data to recommend an equianalgesic opioid regimen
      • Identify drug therapies for complex pain syndromes including methadone and ketamine


Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE

Dr. McPherson is Professor and Executive Director, Advanced Post-Graduate Education in Palliative Care in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore. Dr. McPherson has a master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development, and a Masters in Distance Education and e-Learning. Dr. McPherson has maintained a practice in both hospice and ambulatory care her entire career. She is the Executive Program Director of the Online Master of Science and Graduate Certificates in Palliative Care at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Dr. McPherson is particularly interested in the safe and effective use of medications in patients with a life-limiting illness, ranging from drug selection, deprescribing, risk mitigation with controlled substances and medication disposal.

Dr. McPherson developed one of the first and few palliative care pharmacy residencies in the U.S. Dr. McPherson has won numerous awards for teaching, and her innovative practice in end of life care. She has published numerous articles, chapters, and four books including the second edition of the best-selling “Demystifying Opioid Conversion Calculations: A Guide for Effective Dosing.”

CE/CME Information

Counselor: The National Hospice and Palliative Care has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6232. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. NHPCO is solely responsible for all aspects of the program. 1 NBCC Clock Hour offered.
Nurse: NHPCO is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

NHPCO designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 contact hours. Nurses should claim only the contact hours commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Accredited status by ANCC refers only to continuing nursing education and does not imply endorsement of any commercial product discussed in conjunction with this activity.

Physician: The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

NHPCO designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Certificate of Participation for Non-physician Healthcare Professionals: For participants* whose disciplines are other than nurse and physician, you may request a Certificate of Participation for Non-physician Healthcare Professionals to submit to your accrediting bodies/licensing boards for continuing education credit. This certificate will indicate the Webinar was certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) TM. It is the responsibility of participants to submit the certificates to their accrediting bodies/licensing boards for approval. Unfortunately, NHPCO cannot guarantee its acceptance. To receive this certificate, you must complete all CE/CME requirements and indicate your desire to receive this certificate on the evaluation form.

*including bereavement professionals, finance professionals, physician assistants, social workers, spiritual care givers, etc.