Anuj Aggarwal, M.D., is both a practicing anesthesiologist and pain specialist. Originally from Southern California, Dr. Aggarwal completed his undergraduate studies in biology with honors at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. He earned his medial degree from University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine with distinction, completing the Health Professions Education (HPE) Pathway advanced program. He completed his internship at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA. He then completed his Anesthesiology residency and Pain Medicine fellowship at Stanford Hospital, joining the faculty in 2018.

In addition to his research and clinical areas of interest of perioperative pain and orofacial pain, he is the associate program director for the pain management fellowship, course director of pharmacology for the medical school and directs medical student and resident clerkships in pain management. Dr. Aggarwal has served as the pain theme lead in the pre-clerkship curriculum and has lectured in the pharmacological treatment of disease and practice of medicine courses for the medical students and pre-clerkship course for the physician assistant students.

Clinical Focus

  • Anesthesiology
  • Pain Management
  • Medical Education
  • Nerve Pain
  • Orofacial Pain

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Associate Program Director, Pain Management Fellowship (2020 - Present)
  • Course Director, Pharmacological Treatment of Disease, Stanford School of Medicine (2020 - Present)
  • Rotation Director, Chronic Pain, Department of Anesthesiology (2018 - Present)
  • Clerkship Director Chronic Pain Management (Anes 304a), Stanford School of Medicine (2018 - Present)
  • Pain Theme Lead, Stanford School of Medicine (2018 - Present)
  • Member, Program Evaluation Committee, Pain Medicine (2018 - Present)
  • Member, Clinical Competency Committee, Pain Medicine (2018 - Present)
  • Medical Teaching Scholar, Department of Anesthesiology (2018 - 2020)
  • Member, Peer Support and Resiliency Committee (2014 - Present)
  • Member, Anesthesiology Education Committee (2014 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Pain Medicine Fellow Scholarship, American Academy of Pain Medicine (2018)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, UCSF (2013)
  • Essential Core Teaching Award, UCSF (2013)
  • Foundation of Anesthesia Education and Research Medical Student Fellowship, UCSF (2010)
  • Order of the Laurel and Palm, University of Southern California (2009)
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, University of Southern California (2009)
  • Okin Award, University of Southern California (2008)
  • Phi Sigma (Biological Honors Society), President, University of Southern California (2006-2009)
  • Trustee Scholar, University of Southern California (2005)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Member, Western Group of Educational Affairs, American Association of Medical Colleges (2020 - Present)
  • Member, North American Neuromodulation Society (2017 - Present)
  • Co-Chair Young Trainee Committee, Member, American Academy of Pain Medicine (2015 - Present)
  • Member, American Society of Regional Anesthesia (2015 - Present)
  • Member, Committee on Pain, California Society of Anesthesiologists (2012 - Present)
  • Member, American Society of Anesthesiologists (2010 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Fellowship: Stanford University Pain Management Fellowship (2018) CA
  • Residency: Stanford University Anesthesiology Residency (2017) CA
  • Internship: Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Internal Medicine Residency (2014) CA
  • Medical Education: University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine (2013) CA
  • Board Certification: Anesthesiology, American Board of Anesthesiology (2018)
  • Board Certification: Pain Management, American Board of Anesthesiology (2019)


Graduate and Fellowship Programs

  • Pain Management (Fellowship Program)


All Publications

  • Perioperative Considerations for the Patient with Opioid Use Disorder on Buprenorphine, Methadone, or Naltrexone Maintenance Therapy. Anesthesiology clinics Harrison, T. K., Kornfeld, H., Aggarwal, A. K., Lembke, A. 2018; 36 (3): 345?59


    As part of a national effort to combat the current US opioid epidemic, use of currently Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs for the treatment of opioid use disorder/opioid addiction (buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone) is on the rise. To provide optimal pain control and minimize the risk of relapse and overdose, providers need to have an in-depth understanding of how to manage these medications in the perioperative setting. This article reviews key principles and discusses perioperative considerations for patients with opioid use disorder on buprenorphine, methadone, or naltrexone.

    View details for PubMedID 30092933

  • Qualitative Assessment of Clerkship Students' Perspectives of the Topics of Pain and Addiction in their Preclinical Curriculum Academic Psychiatry Raber, I., Ball, A., Papac, J., Aggarwal, A., Sussman, R., Basaviah, P., Newmark, J., Lembke, A. 2018: 664?67


    A majority of physicians feel poorly trained in the treatment of chronic pain and addiction. As such, it is critical that medical students receive appropriate education in both pain management and addiction. The purpose of this study was to assess the pre-clinical curriculum in pain medicine and addiction from the perspective of students after they had completed their pre-clinical training and to assess what they perceived as the strengths and weaknesses of their training.The authors conducted focused interviews among clinical medical students who had completed at least 6 months of clerkships. The interviews targeted the students' retrospective opinions about the pre-clinical curriculum and their preparedness for clinical encounters with either pain or addiction-related issues during their rotations. Coders thematically analyzed the de-identified interview transcripts, with consensus reached through discussion and code modification.Themes that emerged through the focused interviews included: fragmented curricular structure (and insufficient time) for pain and addiction medicine, not enough specific treatment strategies for pain or addiction, especially for complex clinical scenarios, and lack of a trained work-force to provide guidance in the management of pain and addiction.This study demonstrated the feasibility of gathering student perspectives to inform changes to improve the pre-clinical curriculum in pain and addiction medicine. Students identified multiple areas for improvement at the pre-clerkship level, which have informed updates to the curriculum. More research is needed to determine if curricular changes based on student feedback lead to improved learning outcomes.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s40596-018-0927-1

  • Ehlers Danlos, POTS, and Occult Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak: A Case Report Journal of Anesthesia Pain Medicine Aggarwal, A. K., Carroll, I. 2017; 2 (1)
  • Subpleural Cystic Lung Disease In Severe H1n1 Influenza-Induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ards) Matusov, Y., Aggarwal, A., Sager, J. S. AMER THORACIC SOC. 2016
  • Effect of General Anesthesia in Infancy on Long-Term Recognition Memory in Humans and Rats NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY Stratmann, G., Lee, J., Sall, J. W., Lee, B. H., Alvi, R. S., Shih, J., Rowe, A. M., Ramage, T. M., Chang, F. L., Alexander, T. G., Lempert, D. K., Lin, N., Siu, K. H., Elphick, S. A., Wong, A., Schnair, C. I., Vu, A. F., Chan, J. T., Zai, H., Wong, M. K., Anthony, A. M., Barbour, K. C., Ben-Tzur, D., Kazarian, N. E., Lee, J. Y., Shen, J. R., Liu, E., Behniwal, G. S., Lammers, C. R., Quinones, Z., Aggarwal, A., Cedars, E., Yonelinas, A. P., Ghetti, S. 2014; 39 (10): 2275-2287


    Anesthesia in infancy impairs performance in recognition memory tasks in mammalian animals, but it is unknown if this occurs in humans. Successful recognition can be based on stimulus familiarity or recollection of event details. Several brain structures involved in recollection are affected by anesthesia-induced neurodegeneration in animals. Therefore, we hypothesized that anesthesia in infancy impairs recollection later in life in humans and rats. Twenty eight children ages 6-11 who had undergone a procedure requiring general anesthesia before age 1 were compared with 28 age- and gender-matched children who had not undergone anesthesia. Recollection and familiarity were assessed in an object recognition memory test using receiver operator characteristic analysis. In addition, IQ and Child Behavior Checklist scores were assessed. In parallel, thirty three 7-day-old rats were randomized to receive anesthesia or sham anesthesia. Over 10 months, recollection and familiarity were assessed using an odor recognition test. We found that anesthetized children had significantly lower recollection scores and were impaired at recollecting associative information compared with controls. Familiarity, IQ, and Child Behavior Checklist scores were not different between groups. In rats, anesthetized subjects had significantly lower recollection scores than controls while familiarity was unaffected. Rats that had undergone tissue injury during anesthesia had similar recollection indices as rats that had been anesthetized without tissue injury. These findings suggest that general anesthesia in infancy impairs recollection later in life in humans and rats. In rats, this effect is independent of underlying disease or tissue injury.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/npp.2014.134

    View details for Web of Science ID 000340308400002

    View details for PubMedID 24910347

  • Demographic Factors Affect Willingness to Register as an Organ Donor More Than a Personal Relationship with a Transplant Candidate DIGESTIVE DISEASES AND SCIENCES Regalia, K., Zheng, P., Sillau, S., Aggarwal, A., Bellevue, O., Fix, O. K., Prinz, J., Dunn, S., Biggins, S. W. 2014; 59 (7): 1386-1391


    Transplant candidate caregivers (TCCs) are an under-utilized but potentially devoted pool of advocates who themselves may be recruited to register for deceased organ donation.The purpose of this study was to assess and compare recruitment barriers to deceased donor registration efforts in TCCs and health fair attendees (HFAs).A 42-item questionnaire assessing willingness to register as an organ donor and perceptions and knowledge about organ donation was administered to 452 participants (174 in Denver, 278 in San Francisco). Logistic regression, stratified by study site, was used to assess associations between explanatory variables and willingness to register as an organ donor.In Denver, 83 % of TCCs versus 68 % of HFAs indicated a willingness to register (p = 0.03). Controlling for study group (TCC vs HFA), predictors of willingness to register were female gender [odds ratio (OR) 2.4], Caucasian race (OR 2.3), college graduate (OR 11.1), married (OR 2.4) and higher positive perception of organ donation (OR 1.2), each p < 0.05. In San Francisco, 58 % of TCCs versus 70 % of HFAs indicated a willingness to register (p = 0.03). Controlling for study group (TCC vs HFA), predictors of willingness to register were Caucasian race (OR 3.5), college graduate (OR 2.2), married (OR 1.9), higher knowledge (OR 1.6) and higher positive perception of organ donation (OR 1.2), each p < 0.05. In both locales, Caucasians were more likely to have positive perceptions about organ donation and were more willing to register.Demographic characteristics, not personal connection to a transplant candidate, explain willingness to register as an organ donor.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10620-014-3053-2

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338344500011

    View details for PubMedID 24519521

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4071122

  • Mental Illness Among Us: A New Curriculum to Reduce Mental Illness Stigma Among Medical Students ACADEMIC PSYCHIATRY Aggarwal, A. K., Thompson, M., Falik, R., Shaw, A., O'Sullivan, P., Lowenstein, D. H. 2013; 37 (6): 385?91


    Medical students have been shown to have high levels of psychological distress, including self-stigmatization and unwillingness to seek care. The authors hypothesized that a student-led curriculum involving personal mental illness experience, given during the first-year neuroscience course, and titled "Mental Illness Among Us (MIAU)," would reduce stigma of mental illness.In 2010 and 2011, students completed voluntary pre- and post-MIAU surveys measuring attitudes regarding mental illness in relation to MIAU. Also, in 2011, the authors categorized topics mentioned in student responses to an open-ended, free-response question on the course final examination.Of 298 enrolled students, 250 submitted surveys that were matched pre- and post-intervention. Participants in the curriculum showed a significant difference in Social Distance, indicating an increased willingness to interact with individuals with mental illness, and a significant difference in the Mental Illness: Clinicians' Attitudes (MICA) score representing a stronger agreement with positive statements regarding mental illness. The non-participants' scores showed no changes in measures from pre- to post. Respondents most frequently reported that the neuroscience course prepared them to be a physician because it taught about compassion and the importance of treating the whole patient.The results indicate that participation in MIAU leads to a decrease in stigmatization of mental illness and a greater sense of compassion among UCSF medical students. This finding is consistent with previous research suggesting social and cognitive congruence among peers and peer-teachers can result in meaningful learning experiences. MIAU may represent a sustainable model to supplement current systems to promote well-being of medical trainees.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/BF03340074

    View details for Web of Science ID 000326561500004

    View details for PubMedID 24185285

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