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Pain Medicine Fellowships

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Buckeyedoc

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Can any informed and experienced pain med fellows help me in determining what criteria I should be looking for in a pain med fellowship for anesthesiology?
I see that there are many out there that seem to be offering the same experience, so what distinguishes them from one another??

Thanks!
Soon to be CA-1 thinking ahead.....
 

Stinky Tofu

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Buckeyedoc said:
Can any informed and experienced pain med fellows help me in determining what criteria I should be looking for in a pain med fellowship for anesthesiology?
I see that there are many out there that seem to be offering the same experience, so what distinguishes them from one another??

Thanks!
Soon to be CA-1 thinking ahead.....

There was a talk at the ASRA meeting in Toronto entitled "What to look for in a pain fellowship: the extra pain makes you certifiable". I'll outline some of the things mentioned from that session:

1. What's the weekly academic program like in terms of conferences, journal clubs, didactics, and reviews with faculty.
2. What's the expectation for your involvment in the conferences?
3. What's the quality of the faculty and how well are they "connected" in pain medicine.
4. Is a multidisciplinary motif present?
5. You must have exposure to acute pain, inpatients, and palliative care.
6. What is the procedural practice of the program?

Additionally, I would think about some of the things below:

1. Which procedures are you are interested in doing? Do you want to do pumps and stims? Some programs don't do either and some only do stims.
2. What's the clinic like and how many c-arms do they have? Are they using DSA?
3. What's the attending/fellow ratio in the clinic and what's the average number of procedures performed on a daily basis.
4. Look at the faculty in the clinic. Did they do fellowships? What's their technique like? For example, are they only doing "blind" epidurals or interlaminars only?
5. What kind of job offers are the fellows getting and what's the alumni network like?
5. Get involved with organizations like ASRA, ISIS, ASIPP, NASS, etc. and attend the conferences. You'll meet lots of attendings, fellows, and residents this way and you can find out from them more about other programs.
 
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