Clinical Pain Medicine Fellowship Program Overview

Clinical Pain Medicine Fellowship

Program Overview

The Division of Pain Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center 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. With Stanford’s extraordinary, new Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center (SMOC), we have significantly expanded our range of treatment options as we move forward into this new decade.

What Makes Stanford's Pain Fellowship Special?

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.

  • The Stanford Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Pain Program (SCIPP) is the only med-behavioral inpatient unit of its kind in the western United States. It is designed to provide interdisciplinary evaluation, treatment, and management of complex, chronic pain problems. The SCIPP team consists of specialists from anesthesia, neurology, nursing, occupational therapy, psychiatry, physical therapy, and psychology. Together they focus on all biological, psychosocial, and physical factors that may play a role in the onset and persistence of a pain condition. They formulate and implement an individualized, comprehensive treatment plan for each patient in the SCIPP unit.
  • Stanford is the first major West Coast academic medical center to offer a Headache Clinic. This clinic, lead by nationally-renowned headache specialist, Dr. Rob Cowan, operates within the Pain Medicine Center. Our pain medicine fellows have the opportunity to work with 3 board-certified headache specialists as well as a dentist in the clinic. Fellows learn firsthand how to manage headache and facial pain patients in the hospital, working closely with neurology, neurosurgery, as well as ENT and plastic surgery. Additionally, they also have the opportunity to learn a multitude of procedures specialized for the head, from botox for migraine and ultrasound guided blocks of the occipital nerve, to occipital nerve stimulation. Pain fellows will feel comfortable in the management of headache and facial pain at the end of their fellowship experience. More information about the Headache Clinic can be found here.

  • 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 also personalize their curricula. Whether they 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. At the beginning of the fellowship, fellows will meet with the Program Director to discuss how they will utilize their academic time and create a structured plan to accomplish their goals.