The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) was founded under John Bonica's leadership at an interdisciplinary meeting of 300 pain researchers in Issaquah, Washington, in 1973. Today the IASP has 55 chapters on six continents and 6708 members, who gather every three years for the World Congress on Pain. The organization's journal, Pain, publishes significant research papers from many different fields. The IASP has been a leader in promoting pain education, research, and improved pain management around the world.
The American Pain Society (APS), a national chapter of the IASP, was founded in 1977 by the merger of the Eastern Pain Association and the Western Pain Society. Today the APS has 3550 members representing 30 different fields and holds yearly scientific meetings. The journal Pain Forum highlights current controversies and issues worthy of debate in the field. The APS has been active in promoting increased funding for pain research and the recognition of pain as a national problem in the US.
The IASP and APSP are interdisciplinary societies. As many physicians came to consider themselves practising specialists in pain medicine, they recognized the need for an organization to ensure quality through accreditation and other means of professional enhancement. The American Academy of Pain Medicine (APPM), founded in 1983 as the American Academy of Algology, evolved to meet that need.