Pain Management

ABPMR            AAPMABA

Pain Management is a growing branch of medicine employing an interdisciplinary approach for easing the suffering and improving the quality of life of those living with pain. To become an ACGME board-certified pain management physician, a physician must complete four years of medical school plus four years of residency and finally an additional one-year ACGME accredited Pain Medicine Fellowship. Board-certified pain management physicians traditionally come from the fields of Anesthesiology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, or Neurology.

A pain management specialist receives special training in evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of all different types of pain including acute pain, chronic pain and cancer pain. During training, the pain management specialist works in a multidisciplinary setting where care is coordinated among physical therapy, psychological therapy, rehabilitation programs, and surgical specialties.

As the field of medicine learns more about the complexities of pain, it has become more important to have physicians with specialized knowledge and skills to treat these conditions. Pain can arise for many different reasons such as surgery, injury, nerve damage, and metabolic problems such as diabetes. At times, pain can even be the problem all by itself, without any obvious cause at all. During fellowship training pain physicians gain an in-depth knowledge of the physiology of pain and learn to evaluate patients with complicated pain problems. Furthermore, pain physicians gain an understanding of specialized tests for diagnosing painful conditions and know the appropriate pain medications for varying pain problems. With an increasing number of new and complex drugs, techniques, and technologies becoming available every year for the treatment of pain, the pain management physician is uniquely trained to use this new knowledge safely and effectively to help his or her patients. Lastly, pain physicians are trained to perform minimally invasive procedures (such as nerve blocks, spinal injections and other interventional techniques) as an additional approach to treat pain.