Clinical Pain Psychology Fellowship

We are now accepting applications for the Pain Psychology Fellowship for the 2015-16 academic year.

Program Overview

Although Psychologists play a critical role in the evaluation and management of many pain conditions, there are few formal programs in the country dedicated to training psychology graduates to become specialists in this field. The Division of Pain Management at Stanford University Medical Center created a Pain Psychology postdoctoral fellowship program in 2011 to help address this need. Fellows are provided with clinical and didactic experiences to help them learn the role of biopsychosocial factors in the onset, maintenance, and treatment of pain conditions in the context of a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, collaborative training environment.

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, pharmacologic, and psychological-based therapies, including implantable spinal cord stimulators, fluoroscopic and ultrasound-guided procedures, intrathecal drug-delivery systems, individual psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral skills classes, and acceptance and commitment therapy groups. Within the western United States, Stanford is fortunate to have the only inpatient, academic, chronic pain management unit, able to care for the most complex pain patients. With the opening of the extraordinary Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center (SMOC) and construction of a new hospital, we anticipate significantly expanding our range of treatment options as we move into the future.

Message from the Training Director

The Stanford Pain Service is a multidisciplinary center that provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient treatment for acute and chronic pain conditions. Our treatment approach generally focuses on functional rehabilitation: specialists from the fields of anesthesia, physiatry, neurology, psychiatry, psychology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nursing work together to help patients achieve improvement in quality of life despite the presence of pain. Psychologists are an integral part of the service, and provide psychological evaluations and assessments, perform pre-surgical screenings for implantable therapies, and engage in individual and group-based treatments. The American Pain Society recognized and validated the interdisciplinary model of pain management practiced by the Stanford Pain Center by recognizing us as a Clinical Center of Excellence.

The APA-accredited Pain Psychology Fellowship is comprised of both clinical and academic responsibilities. Clinically, Fellows will participate in a full-range of outpatient evaluation and treatment services and will have the opportunity to observe inpatient treatment in the unique Stanford Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Pain Program (SCIPP). Academically, Fellows participate in didactic lectures and journal clubs in both the Pain Division and the Psychiatry Department. Fellows will give presentations at these sessions to complement their clinical education. Lastly, Fellows will work on a small pain-related research project over the course of the year. The topic will be chosen at the start of the Fellowship and protected time is provided each week to work on it. Although not a requirement of the Fellowship, individuals with a specific interest in research are also able to participate in additional opportunities in our NIH-funded research lab, the Stanford Neuroscience and Pain Lab (SNAPL).

Stanford is an exceptionally rewarding place to work and train. There is a plethora of research activity throughout the campus and countless opportunities to enhance one’s knowledge base. This atmosphere extends into the Pain Division, where interpersonal interactions are marked by collegiality and mutual respect is pervasive across disciplines. I hope you will agree with this assessment and that you find your fellowship year to be a gratifying life experience.

Thank you for your interest in our program. Please take time to browse our entire site, in which you will find details about the pain psychology fellowship program, facts about living in the San Francisco Bay Area, salary and benefits, current and past fellows, and application information and materials.

I look forward to reviewing your application.

Sincerely,

Ravi Prasad, PhD
Assistant Chief, Division of Pain Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine

Clinical Experience & Curriculum

In addition to clinical responsibilities, fellows are expected to attend weekly didactic lectures, teaching rounds, monthly journal club meetings, grand rounds, and mortality and morbidity conferences. We also encourage our fellows to register and attend relevant conferences/seminars.

Stipend & Benefits

Stanford University offers fellows exceptional salary and benefits, as outlined below.

  • Competitive stipend, please inquire for details
  • Medical, dental, vision, disability, life and accident benefits provided
  • Partial coverage offered for spouses/registered domestic partners and/or children

Paid leave includes the following:

  • 15 days vacation/personal time off
  • 15 days sick leave
  • 5 days conference attendance
  • 6 weeks pregnancy leave
  • 1 week paternity leave
  • University holidays

Current & Past Fellows

Year Name Graduate School Internship
2011-12 Jeremy Bartz, PhD Brigham Young University VA Caribbean Health Care System
2012-13 Sue Gritzner, PsyD Pacific University Wayne State University
2013-14 Kristen Richards, PsyD Loma Linda University Southern Arizona VA Health Care System
2013-14 J. Drew Sturgeon, PhD Arizona State University Ann Arbor VA Health Care System
2014-15 Uta Maeda, PhD University of Southern California Portland VA Medical Center

Life After Fellowship

Our program focuses on training future leaders in the field of pain medicine, whether they pursue academic or community practices. Thus far, our program graduates have been able to successfully complete state licensure requirements and secured private practice and academic medical center positions.

Application Information & Materials

All applicants must have completed:
1) APA- or CPA-accredited graduate programs in clinical or counseling psychology;
2) APA- or CPA-accredited internship; and
3) all requirements for their PhD or PsyD prior to the beginning of their appointment.

Application Information:

Please send a personal statement, Curriculum Vitae, and three letters of recommendation to Ravi Prasad, PhD via email rprasad@stanford.edu. Additional inquiries about the program can be directed to Ravi Prasad at the same email address.

Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted and reviewed until the position is filled. Minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. The fellowship is accredited by the APA Commission on Accreditation, 750 First St. NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, (202) 336-5979. Email: apaacred@apa.org

Fellowship Start Date: September 1, 2015  (flexible).