By: 31 July 2017
European Pain Federation EFIC announces the first recipient of the Ulf Lindblom Prize

On 25 July , 2017, the European Pain Federation EFIC announced that the first recipient of the Ulf Lindblom Prize will be French doctor Nicolás Varela, who is currently finishing a Neuromodulation Fellowship at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London. This prize is presented to the person who achieved the highest score in the exam for the European Diploma in Pain Medicine, which took place for the first time in April 2017 in Madrid. The prize is named in memory of the European Pain Federation’s founder, the Swedish doctor Ulf Lindblom, who passed away in January, and will be awarded at each biennial congress of the European Pain Federation. As the winner of the award, Varela will be personally commended on stage at the congress in September in Copenhagen, and will receive a plaque, medal and waived registration and costs at the congress.

The first exam for the European Diploma in Pain Medicine, which is open to all qualified doctors who see and treat pain, was held for the first time this year, and is expected to become a significant qualification in the world of pain medicine. The objective of the diploma is to improve the standard of pain assessment and treatment through the provision of a qualification for all medical professionals that tests their broad understanding of all types of pain and their treatment.

The content of the Examination is based upon the European Pain Federation EFIC Pain Curriculum for the European Diploma in Pain Medicine (‘the Curriculum’) and accompanying reading list, which can both be found on the Core Curricula section of the European Pain Federation website.

For more information on the European Diploma of Pain Medicine please visit:

Varela, who will be taking a consultant post at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, UK in the end of August, is mainly trained as an anesthesiologist but has in recent years been focusing on pain medicine. Varela received his Ph.D in Pain Medicine from the Clinica Universidad de Navarra in Spain.

On the European Diploma in Pain Medicine and continuous professional development, Varela says: “Continuous professional development is fundamental. We owe it to our patients. They come to us seeking help, and the only way to do so effectively is by being at the top of our field, keeping up to date and giving the patients the best available management options. The diploma might simply seem like a way to prove that a doctor has a good level of knowledge, but it’s much more than that. It proves that he or she has taken the time to study and learn for a non-mandatory exam, which is even more valuable.”

EFIC’s President, Chris Wells said: “I would like to congratulate Nicolás on his achievement. Recipients of the Ulf Lindblom Prize could one day be leading the field of pain medicine in Europe.”

The next opportunity to take the exam for the European Diploma in Pain Medicine will be at the EFIC congress in Copenhagen on 9 September. The deadline for registration is: 26 August, 2017.