Program Overview

The Stanford Division of Pain Medicine offers a world-class ACGME-approved clinical pain medicine fellowship. This fellowship program focuses on comprehensive, interdisciplinary, collaborative training in and treatment of acute, chronic, and cancer pain. Fellows learn and practice the medical, interventional, physical and behavioral aspects of pain medicine so that upon graduation, they will be successful pain medicine physicians in both academic and community practices.

The specialty of Pain Medicine has experienced remarkable growth and change over the last several decades. Stanford has been at the forefront of these changes from clinical, educational and research perspectives. To treat chronic pain, Stanford employs state-of the-art, interventional therapies – implantable spinal cord stimulators, radio-frequency ablation, fluoroscopic and ultrasound-guided procedures, and intrathecal drug-delivery systems. Within the western United States, Stanford is fortunate to have the only inpatient, academic, chronic pain medicine unit, able to care for the most complex pain patients. 

What Makes Stanford's Pain Fellowship Special?

Our aim is to provide our fellows with the most rewarding fellowship experience possible. In addition to pursuing our core pain medicine training, fellows can personalize their curricula with 7 dedicated academic weeks. Whether you are interested in academics, community practice, industry, or policy and administration, fellows can work with the program director, full-time and volunteer clinical faculty and various departments throughout Stanford to cultivate their interests and develop their professional goals. Highlights of the Stanford Pain Medicine fellowship include:

  • Stanford Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Pain Program (SCIPP) – only med-behavioral inpatient unit of its kind in the western United States
  • Faculty consisting of anesthesiology, PM&R, neurology, and dentistry, along with complex case managers, pain physical therapists and pain psychologists housed in the same outpatient center
  • Subspecialty clinics allow fellows to have a more in depth experience with a variety of pain issues including, headache, orofacial pain, pelvic pain, spine, GI, and addiction medicine. 
  • Faculty with experience in industry and policy, highlights including:
  • Dr. Sean Mackey – Co-Chair of the Oversight Committee for the NIH/Health and Human Services National Pain Strategy, former president of AAPM
  • Dr. Michael Leong – served as research director and medical director  was several companies and former Mayday Fellow; current Director of Neuromodulation for Stanford Pain Management
  • Dr. Vanilla Singh - Chief Medical Officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Sub-specialty pain programs run between divisions and specialities across Stanford’s healthcare enterprise:

  • Headache (Collaboration with Neurology)
  • Orofacial Pain (Collaboration with Dentistry, ENT, Neurology, Neurosurgery)
  • Pelvic Pain (Collaboration with Urology)
  • Abdominal/GI Pain (collaboration with Gastroenterology)
  • Neurospine and Neuromodulation (Collaboration with Neurosurgery)
  • Pain and Addiction (Collaboration with Psychiatry)

AAPM Fellowship Award

AAPM congratulates Stanford Pain Medicine Fellowship Program as a 2017 recipient of the AAPM Pain Medicine Fellowship Excellence Award.

The American Academy of Pain Medicine’s Annual Pain Medicine Fellowship Excellence Award recognizes Pain Medicine Fellowship Programs within the United States that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and provide an exceptional learning experience to their fellows, preparing them to deliver the highest standard of care to patients with pain. Additionally, the awards are intended to honor programs whose efforts are in line with AAPM’s mission "to optimize the health of patients in pain and eliminate the major public health problem of pain by advancing the practice and the specialty of pain medicine.


We are honored to be recognized as a Clinical Center of Excellence by the American Pain Society in 2008 and 2012. This award is a recognition and validation of the interdisciplinary model of pain medicine exemplified by the Stanford Pain Center.