Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care: School of Medicine: University of California, Irvine

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Pain Medicine Fellowship

Pain Medicine Fellowship

The Pain Medicine Fellowship is an ACGME-approved program that provides comprehensive training in multidisciplinary pain assessment and treatment, as well as advanced interventional techniques and safe opioid prescribing practices. As the only academic pain medicine program in Orange County fellows will learn from expert pain medicine physicians who are board certified in pain medicine and have additional expertise in pediatric pain, practice management, safe opioid prescribing, perioperative pain medicine, and patient quality and safety. We offer three ACGME-accredited positions for one-year.

The training program will provide the fellows with the skills and knowledge to become experts in interventional pain management with the use of different treatment modalities. The fellows receive hands-on training in spinal cord stimulation, intrathecal pain therapy, peripheral nerve stimulation, kyphoplasty, cranial facial head and neck blocks, advanced interventional techniques, psychological and cognitive therapies, regional anesthesia, opioid and adjunctive medication management. Pain fellows will have a unique clinical opportunity to participate in pediatric pain medicine, one of the most robust in the nation. In addition, fellows will have experience in integrative medicine with acupuncture, nutrition and functional medicine.

Imagine a truly integrative fellow education of patient centered pain management in basic and advanced interventional techniques with a robust clinical volume. The UCI Pain Medicine Division includes a group of diverse faculty members who were trained at nationally renowned programs and who are leaders in national pain societies with strong networks that are aimed to guide fellows in securing highly coveted careers post fellowship. Graduates of the fellowship program have excelled in both academic and private practice models. The training program has a strong culture of teamwork and physician wellness. The UCI Pain Medicine Division and UCI Health is always at the forefront of trailblazing innovative pain therapies, which includes development of new pain medical devices and the use of virtual reality.

UCI Health has been nationally featured on these media outlets for the use of Botox® to treat chronic migraines in children.

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Program Overview and Curriculum

Fellows will gain insight and experience through the highly innovative and structured curriculum that will well prepare for board certification, practical knowledge and expertise in the field of pain medicine, pediatric pain medicine and perioperative pain medicine, including a specialized background in business of medicine. Focusing on multi-specialty training, fellows will have the opportunity to rotate through subspecialty rotations.

Pain medicine fellows will be assigned to the following clinical sites/units for their training:

  • UCI Health Center for Pain & Wellness
  • Acute Pain Service
  • Chronic Pain Service
  • Operation room procedures
  • Subspecialty rotations* (available in anesthesiology, neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, medicine, neuroradiology, palliative care, and psychiatry)

*Fellows with residency completion in anesthesiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology or psychiatry are excused from the applicable rotations.

To becoming a well-rounded pain physician, the training program will also focus on the business of medicine where fellows will add to their strong clinical skills, the knowledge and experience to navigate the changing world of healthcare delivery. A dedicated curriculum will focus on the development of administrative and financial skill sets, inclusive of billing, coding, practice management and leading hospital-wide initiatives. Fellows are strongly encouraged to participate and join special task forces and committees within the pain society to further develop their education and leadership skills to become leaders in the healthcare industry.

Fellows will take a few weekends of a at home pager call that is kept within the ACGME limits. When on call, the fellow will round on the weekend for inpatient chronic pain consultation services. Another opportunity for the fellows to enhance their education and training is by internal moonlighting for anesthesiology, which should not interfere or compromise with the required learning.

At the end of the fellowship, fellows will have experienced and learned the following:

  • Performance of a full complement of neuraxial and sympathetic injections
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Joint injections
  • Trialing, implantation, and management of dorsal column and peripheral nerve stimulators
  • Intrathecal pump trial, implantation, refill technique, and management
  • Billing and coding on procedures and clinic visits
  • Ultrasound guided regional anesthesia techniques
  • Thoracic epidurals for thoracic trauma
  • Botulinum toxin therapy for the treatment of pain and spasticity
  • Develop personalized physical and occupational therapy programs
  • Prescribe appropriate prosthetics and orthotics
  • Prescribe pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies
  • Prescribe opioid and non-opioid analgesics
  • Refer and follow patients undergoing pain psychology interventions

Clinical Experience

Fellowship training will include experiences at two clinical sites with a diverse patient population, the UCI Health Center for Pain & Wellness and the UCI Medical Center.

Interventional pain procedures are performed at the UCI Health Center for Pain & Wellness at the Gottschalk Medical Plaza. The center is equipped with fluoroscopy suites, a state-of-the-art ultrasound machine, a full suite of recovery bays, examination rooms, and a musculoskeletal ultrasound machine. Fellows will work with a highly efficient team of the clinic staff, including medical assistants, nurses, and fluoroscopy technicians that provides extensive support with patient flow and a positive patient experience.

The UCI Medical Center runs a 24-hour Acute Pain Service that will expose fellows to a high volume and large variety of ultrasound-guided nerve blocks. Fellows will care for patients with acute postoperative, post-traumatic and severe chronic pain. Operating room procedures can include trials of spinal cord stimulation, implantation of dorsal column and peripheral nerve stimulators and trail and implantation of intrathecal drug delivery systems.

Dedicated to provide patients with an effective pain management plan, fellows will be involved with the Perioperative Pain Clinic. Fellows will develop and tailor a comprehensive treatment plan for patients on preoperative preparation, intraoperative care optimization and postoperative planning. Fellows will work with a multidisciplinary group of primary care doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and surgeons to identify and develop treatment strategies for operations and factors that parallel escalated pain risk.

Formal Education

Pain medicine fellows will participate in bi-weekly didactics that consist of:

  • Small group board-oriented lectures
  • Physical examination practice sessions
  • Journal Club
  • Multidisciplinary case conferences
  • Grand rounds

Formal educational sessions are faculty driven and are constructed to provide an overview of all ACGME-required topics, pain medicine board preparation, pain practice business preparation, billing and coding, epidemiology and research preparation and research study design. With strong mentorship and support for the fellows, they are encouraged to participate in scholarly activities.

Research Opportunities

The UCI Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care Division of Pain Medicine Research offers a wide range of basic science and clinical research including cannabis research, pediatric pain and pediatric pain clinical trial opportunities. These opportunities lie both within the pain division and within the university, which is known nationally for its research in stem cell biology and spinal cord injury. Fellow will have access to collaborate with other investigators within the university, such as the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute and the UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis. The UCI simulating research environment includes studies that are funded by national grants from prominent pain societies. The UCI clinical and basic research scientists and faculty are dedicated to discovering cutting edge pain treatment options.

Learn more about Pain Medicine Research »

Application Process

The pain medicine fellowship participates in the NRMP’s (National Resident Matching Program) Pain Medicine Match. Applications for the fellowship will be accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®).

The pain medicine fellowship participates in a nationwide best practice to ease the transition from residency to fellowship with an August 1 start date. This was established due to the recognition of the time required for Board Examination preparation and if needed, geographical relocation.

Fellowship Graduates

2019-2020
Peter Huynh, MD
Darin Scribner, DO
Adrian Sulindro, MD

2019-2020
Peter Huynh, MD
Darin Scribner, DO
Adrian Sulindro, MD

2018-2019
Tara-lin Hollins, MD
Joseph Villaluz, MD

2017-2018
Brent Yeung, MD
Pritesh Patel, MD

2016-2017
Jihan Grant, MD
Andrui Nazarian, MD

2015-2016
Ashish Chavda, MD
Benjamin Record, MD

2014-2015
Aseem Hemmad, MD
Sachin Narain, MD

2013-2014
Hamilton Chen, MD
John Michels, MD

2012-2013
Jorge Kim, MD
Adam Wuollet, MD

2011-2012
Kais Alsharif, MD
Robert Kim, MD

2010-2011
Eric Chang, MD
Damien Tavares, MD
Kay Yeung, MD

2009-2010
Amanda S. Barker, MD
Michael Kim, MD

2008-2009
Danny Botros, MD
Neil Dhingra, MD

2007-2008
Helen J. Kim, MD

2006-2007
Justin Hata, MD
Rostam Khoshsar, MD

2005-2006
Robert Frey, MD
Amir A. Pouradib, MD

2004-2005
Kevin Trinh, MD

2003-2004
Calvin J. Okey, MD
Arthur D. Zepeda, MD

2002-2003
Eric C. Kim, MD
Lina Lee, MD

2001-2002
John Brazill, MD

2000-2001
Phuoc Nguyen, MD
Bryan Washington, MD

1999-2000
Stephen Barkow, MD

1998-1999
Medhat Mikhael, MD
William Wang, MD

1997-1998
Lise Wiltse, MD

1996-1997
Todd Foster, MD

1995-1996
Holly Sata, MD

1994-1995
James A. Pearce, MD

1993-1994
Steven V. Snyder, MD

Contact Information

Direct all inquiries to:

Fellowship Coordinator
Rogelio (Roger) Hernandez
Email: anesthfellowship@hs.uci.edu
Phone: 714-456-5835

Program Director
Rakhi Dayal, MD