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Goals and Objectives


Our programs goals and objectives are as follows:

  • To provide advanced training in the assessment and management of pain based on direct involvement in patient care under the direct supervision and instruction of full-time faculty.
  • To develop a physician who will be competent to practice as an effective consultant for problems related to pain management in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Upon completion of the fellowship, the physician is expected to be able to manage pain management problems in various contexts including in the presence of complex medical illnesses and psychological distress.
  • To develop a physician who has a good understanding of the practice of pain medicine as well as an understanding of the multidisciplinary practice model and the organization and management of a pain center.
  • To include in the fellowship training program clinical rotations which provide each fellow a valuable separate, identifiable clinical experience in each of the four disciplines essential to the practice of pain medicine:  Anesthesiology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neurology, and Psychiatry.


The goal of the fellowship as well as each specialty rotation is for the fellow to develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills needed to function as a pain management specialist incorporating a multidisciplinary approach to pain medicine by drawing from the various disciplines relevant to pain medicine.

The pain fellow completing the continuum of training is eligible to take the pain management subspecialty examination of the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA), Inc., and to practice independently as a consultant in the specialty of pain management.

During the one year fellowship program, the trainee’s experience will allow for a comprehensive training in the practice of pain management. Using a wide range of clinical experiences, educational conferences, didactic teaching, and focused evaluation and remediation as necessary, the program promotes the development of skilled and hard-working physicians with a foundation of medical knowledge and clinical experience.

Through teaching interactions and conferences, the fellow will learn to use problem based learning and evidence based medicine in the application of current pain management practices to all their patients. Upon completion of the program, the fellow will have the interpersonal skills, knowledge, interventional skills and professionalism to function as a consultant in pain management and obtain board certification in pain management.


On-call Schedule

A reasonable on-call schedule is maintained to balance educational and service needs with the personal and family needs of the fellow. Pain fellows take call from home and perform inpatient rounds with the pain attending on-call. Average on-call time is one out of every 4 to 5 weeks. The program is easily compliant with the ACGME limits on work-duty hours.


Didactic Learning and Resources


A comprehensive core curriculum has been implemented for the didactic education of fellows throughout the year. Teaching conferences are conducted weekly. The fellows office is equipped with individual computers with Internet access to support clinical and didactic education.

A comprehensive departmental library acquires current textbooks and subscribes to the major pain management journals and other pertinent literature. Each fellow receives an educational allowance at departmental expense. Computer work stations provide access to other major journals, on-line text books, and Web-based educational resources.


Learning Environment

West Penn and Allegheny General hospitals foster an environment of interaction that is conducive for training young physicians. The size of the program allows for the faculty to get to know each fellow, allowing them to personalize the fellow’s individual learning, based on their individual strengths and weaknesses. As part of this effort, a personal interview is required of a pain management fellowship applicant. The visit gives the applicant an opportunity to meet our faculty and to interact with fellows currently in the program.

Pittsburgh is a very friendly, family-oriented city with an expanding nightlife and beautiful suburbs. No longer a center for heavy industry, the city has earned an international reputation for its successful shift into advanced technology and biomedical enterprises. The extensive physical redevelopment of the metropolitan area has been paralleled by a rise in quality of life indicators, as demonstrated by the selection of Pittsburgh as among the most livable cities in the United States.  Building on a base of stable neighborhoods, low housing costs, moderate climate, and low crime rates, Pittsburgh also boasts a diversified economy and strong cultural, educational, and medical communities.

Regular performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and the Pittsburgh Opera will satisfy the most demanding performance-goers. Museum lovers will appreciate the Carnegie museums (Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum) and the Senator John Heinz History Center. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the Pittsburgh Pirates, Penguins, and Steelers, as well as Division I college sports.

Local, regional and state parks, bicycling, hiking and walking trails and recreational facilities of all types offer a wide variety of outdoor leisure activities.