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Performing Arts Medicine Association
Who is PAMA
PAMA is an organization comprised of dedicated medical professionals, artists educators, and administrators with the common goal of improving the health care of the performing artist. The Performing Arts Medicine Association was founded in 1989. Members join from around the world.
Members of PAMA are professionals in fields that include research, education, and clinical practice. Many have written books and articles to inform and educate other professionals and performers. For more information see Member Publications.
PAMA Mission Statement
The Performing Arts Medicine Association is committed to:
- Promoting the highest quality of care to all performing artists and bringing to that care an appreciation of the special needs of performing artists.
- Developing educational programs designed to enhance the understanding and prevention of medical problems related to the performing arts.
- Promoting communication among all those involved in the health care and well being of performing artists.
- Fostering research into the etiology, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of medical problems of performing artists
The Performing Arts Medicine Association was incorporated in 1988 by a group of physicians who had been involved individually with the medical care of musicians and dancers. The seeds for this organization were sown in 1983 at the first Symposium on the Medical Problems of Musicians in Aspen, Colorado. Further impetus toward formalizing their shared interest in this nascent medical specialty came with the founding of a scientific journal, Medical Problems of Performing Artists, in 1986. Both the symposium and journal began under the leadership of Dr. Alice Brandfonbrener of Chicago, who was the journal’s first editor-in-chief and who would become PAMA’s Founding President.
Initially a medical organization limited to physicians, PAMA quickly grew to include all types of health professionals, as well as performers, educators, and administrators in both music and dance genres. The specialty is international in scope, with 20% of its members from outside the United States. With this expansion has come an increasing diversity of activities that support PAMA’s mission-dealing with the health of musicians, dancers, and actors. Collaboration with artistic organizations of many varieties has enabled us to spread our message to wider populations of performers and students who can benefit from this information. Several PAMA members serve as medical consultants to musical and dance organizations, while others work directly with orchestras and dance companies.
PAMA traditionally has held its annual meetings in conjunction with the Symposium in Colorado each summer. Through its committee structure, the organization’s business-education, research, outreach, and much more-continues throughout the year. The MPPA publication has become the official journal of our organization, as well as that of our sister performing arts medicine group in the Netherlands. PAMA will continue to expand as increasing numbers of performers avail themselves of our knowledge and experience in care and prevention of their medical problems, and more health professionals become actively involved in this endeavor.