The Italian Society for the Study of Headache, in view of the growing medical and social significance of this disease and the inadequate handling of this subject in the university curricula (undergraduate and graduate schools), founded in 2005, under the direction of Professor Alberto Pini, the "Interdisciplinary School of Advanced Education on Headache".
The School recognizes as its fundamental elements the maintenance of a high level of scientific teaching and an interdisciplinary approach to headache medicine with particular regard to the aspects of the common clinical practice. Thus, I can synthesize the guidelines followed in the management of the School as: 1) a careful selection of the teaching staff by identifying specific skills not only in neurological and internal medicine, as well as, in pharmacology, pain medicine and neuroimaging. As a rule the lessons that make up the module are assigned to scholars who have contributed personally, with original research, to the advancement of scientific knowledge on the given topic. 2) an interactive educational approach with tutorial activities, discussion of clinical cases and dealing with the information using the "Problem Solving" and "Problem Based Learning" methods.
In the context of the activity carried out in the last few years I remember, with particular pleasure, because of the level of interest aroused, the modules: "Cluster headache and other trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias" in June 2011, "Diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines for migraine and tension-type headache in adults and juveniles" in June 2012, and "Organization of a clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of headaches" in April 2013.
From the beginning the venue of the School was Florence, the city where SISC was founded and the venue of the first National Congress (1976). Moreover, we took the liberty of logistically changing the venue by organizing the 1st Meeting of the School in Modena (May 2010). This initiative arose from the educational project to directly involve the participants in the preparation of a talk on a topic of their interest. This experience was later replicated several times both in Rome and in Chieti.
The School offers three modules per year. Basic topics are handled organically in each teaching module and are integrated with lessons on topics dealing with the most recent actualities (innovative therapies, chronification, the social cost of the disease, the legal medical aspects, connections with pain medicine).
Although the effects of the economic crisis have not spared the School, the educational activity in 2014 was also organised in three modules. The first two were held in Florence, respectively on 14-15 June and 27-28 September, and dealt with the topic: "Secondary Headaches" (Part I and II). The third module was held in Catanzaro on the theme: "Chronic Headache: a pathology of social impact". Overall, we registered the participation of 89 students and 22 teachers.
While confirming that the specific educational structure of the School is based on the direct interactions between teachers and students, it is easy to foresee that, in the near future, further initiatives (computer support) will extend the type of educational activities proposed and coordinated by SISC.
March 2, 2015