The MD Anderson Pain Medicine Fellowship Program is a one-year, ACGME-accredited training program with a mission to educate future pain medicine physicians in evidence-based clinical practice to provide outstanding patient-centered care to the international patient population at MD Anderson in alignment with MD Anderson’s core values of caring, integrity and discovery.
We accomplish this by providing fellows with a comprehensive experience in pain management. Training experiences are substantially integrated with interactive teaching focused toward understanding basic foundations of pain management. Diverse didactic experiences stimulate fellows to go beyond the current methods in pain management.
Within the clinical experience, fellows are challenged to contribute to an environment of multidisciplinary pain management where clinicians from many specialties work together. Our patient population ranges includes adults, children, inpatients, outpatients, acute, postoperative, chronic malignant pain, as well as nonmalignant pain. Fellows are exposed to the full range of pain treatments from medical to interventional, including psychological and rehabilitation techniques. Training includes the management of straightforward and complex pain syndromes, including appropriate applications of innovative pharmacologic therapies and interventional procedures. Fellows acquire a broad range of interventional procedural skills, including neurolytic techniques, vertebral augmentation and implantable devices (e.g. intrathecal drug delivery systems and dorsal column stimulators). By the end of the year, fellows will be able to manage any painful condition, even when complicated by the presence of other symptoms, complex medical illness and psychological distress.
Our primary goal is for our fellows to become compassionate consultants in pain management and to serve as an advocate for patients.
Program objectives include:
- Developing advanced knowledge in malignant and non-malignant pain management techniques
- Understanding the implications, benefits and risks of anesthetic and neurosurgical procedures to control pain
- Active participation in conversations about pain management with patients, their families and other health professionals
- Analyzing practice experience and improving practice-based activities using a systematic methodology
- Participating in presentations, lectures and facilitating the knowledge of other health professionals
- Learning to act as an effective advocate for the rights of the patient and family in serious ethical situations
Meet Our Fellows
Learn more about our current fellows.
Christina Le-Short, M.D.
Program Director, Pain Medicine Fellowship
Department of Pain Medicine, Division of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine
Required application materials include:
- Curriculum vitae
- Personal statement
Other items that may be required for application:
- Three letters of recommendation: If currently in a residency program, one additional letter of good standing from the program director indicating trainee standing and expected completion with the program is required.
- USMLE, COMLEX, FLEX scores report
- Medical transcripts
- Medical diploma: copy
- Certificate of training completion – copy for each certification
Fellows rotate through different experiences one week at a time (excluding external or special electives which may be two to four weeks).
These rotations include:
- Outpatient Clinic
- Inpatient Consultant Service
- In-office Procedures
- Operating Room Procedures
- Anesthesiology/Acute Pain (for non-anesthesia fellows)
- PMR (for non-PMR fellows)
- Two-week “Fellow’s Choice” elective
- Four-week interventional private practice experience
Didactic sessions are scheduled throughout the week and include regular lectures, Chair’s roundtables, multi-institutional teleconferences, evidence-based medicine review, GME Core Curriculum lectures, M&M conferences, and Journal Club. Fellows are relieved from clinical duties to attend all sessions. In addition, fellows are enrolled in Canvas, an online learning management system, wherein they are assigned weekly readings, quizzes and videos to study at their own pace.
Sample Week at a Glance
|Mornings (7 a.m.)||Chair's rounds (monthly)||EBM Fundamentals Board Review (monthly)||UCD/Teleconference (bi-monthly)
PD/Fellow meeting (bi-monthly)
|EBM Journal Club (bi-monthly)
Pain Medicine Clinical Case Conference (bi-monthly)
|Pain Seminar (monthly)|
|Afternoons (5 p.m.)||GME Core Curriculum (monthly)||Collaborative Neuroscience Conference (monthly)||Week 4: UC Davis Teleconference|
Fellows will have the unique opportunity to participate in pain medicine simulation training in which they will learn practical tools to manage procedure-related crisis scenarios in a safe environment.
Two-Year Research Fellowship
A two-year research track is available for those applicants interested in developing their career in academic medicine. Fellows spend one year conducting research targeted toward their individual needs and goals under the mentorship of department chair Salahaddin Abdi, M.D., Ph.D. The second year is spent as a clinical fellow.
January 1: Applications open on ERAS
January 1 - May 15: Applications reviewed by selection committee
May 15: Interview letters are sent to chosen applicants
Mid-June to Early August: Interviews are held on three dates TBA
September: All candidates are ranked in NRMP
Early October: Match Day through NRMP
Early October: Matched fellows for next academic year work with Program Coordinator to upload all necessary documents
December: Future fellows are submitted to the Academic & Visa Administration-Trainee (AVA-Trainee) department at MD Anderson
January-June: Future fellows work with Research Trainee Programs to upload all required documents (ACLS, PIT, DEA, etc.)
When does the application process start?
Applications open January 1 and end June 30.
Do you use ERAS for the application process?
Yes, we will begin using ERAS on January 1, 2020.
Do all listed documents have to be uploaded in order for the application to be reviewed by faculty?
No, only the completed Application, CV, Letter of Good Standing (for current residents) and three letters of recommendation are required in order for your application to be reviewed.
How many positions are there in the MD Anderson Pain Medicine Fellowship?
There are six fellows per class.
When are interviews held?
Interviews will start in May and end in July. If you are offered an interview, there will be three dates to choose from. Interviews are typically on Fridays.
Our program focuses on training future leaders in the field of pain medicine, whether they pursue academic or community practice. Since our program’s inception in 1989, our graduates have established pain clinics throughout the country, developed institutional pain programs and conducted groundbreaking pain research. We maintain close, collaborative relationships with our graduates throughout their careers.
MD Anderson Cancer Center is located in Houston, in the Texas Medical Center, which boasts:
- The finest in medical education and treatment
- Numerous parks, including Hermann Park which has an outdoor theater and large zoo
- An academic and cultural arena that includes Baylor College of Medicine, Rice and St. Thomas Universities, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Arts
- Close proximity to Houston's noted symphony orchestra, opera, theater and ballet.
Other sites of various activities available within a few minutes' drive include Moody Gardens, Sam Houston Race Park, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, SplashTown Waterpark, Downtown Aquarium, Space Center Houston, Lone Star Flight Museum, San Jacinto Battlefield, NRG Stadium, Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center and the George R. Brown Convention Center. The cost of living is moderate and housing is very reasonable. For more information, visit our About Houston page.
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MD Anderson Cancer Center is committed to encouraging good health and staying true to our mission to end cancer. If you are applying for a GME fellowship or residency program starting on or after July 1, 2016, please be advised that MD Anderson will have instituted a tobacco-free hiring process as part of its efforts to achieve these goals. If you are offered an appointment, you will be subject to a Pre-Employment Drug Screen for tobacco compounds in compliance with applicable state laws. If you do not pass the urine drug screening which includes testing for tobacco compounds, you CANNOT be appointed at MD Anderson. Should you fail to meet this contingency, MD Anderson will withdraw your offer of appointment for the academic year. You may reapply for the following academic year, but there are no guarantees that you will be offered a position as many of our programs are already filled for several years out.