The MD Anderson Pain Medicine Fellowship Program is a one-year, ACGME-accredited program with a rich tradition of providing fellows with a comprehensive experience in pain management. Our training mission is to inspire and aid future leaders to advance their current education through developing advanced knowledge and skills in pain management while practicing excellent patient care and participating in a stimulating learning and research environment. Training experiences are substantially integrated with interactive teaching sessions 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 within a busy environment of multidisciplinary pain management where faculty clinicians from many specialties work together. Our patient population ranges from adults to children, inpatients to outpatients with acute, postoperative, and 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. Fellows acquire a broad range of interventional procedural skills, including neurolytic techniques and implantable devices (e.g. intrathecal infusion pumps and dorsal column stimulators).
Our primary goal is for our fellows to become compassionate consultants of pain management and to serve as an advocate for patients. This includes the management of straightforward and complex pain syndromes in ambulatory and hospitalized patients, including appropriate applications of innovative pharmacologic therapies and interventional procedures. Fellows should be able to manage such problems, even when complicated by the presence of other symptoms, complex medical illness and psychological distress.
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
Required application materials include:
- Curriculum vitae
- Personal statement
Other items that may be required for application:
- Three letters of recommendation: If currently in a program, one letter must be from program director indicating trainee standing and expected completion with the program.
- 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 Service
- Interventional Procedures
- Operating Room
- 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. Fellows are relieved from clinical duties to attend all sessions. At the beginning of the year, fellows will attend Pain Bootcamp during which daily lectures will be held to provide the fellows with a solid foundation upon which to build their fellowship year.
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: Application process opens on MD Anderson's Discover database
May 15: All interview letters have been sent out to applicants
Mid- June-Early August: Interview sessions are held in Chronic Pain Clinic at MD Anderson
Late 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?
No, we use MD Anderson's Discover database. A link to Discover will be provided here on our website on January 1.
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 June and end in August. If you are offered an interview, there be three dates to choose from. All interviews are on weekdays.
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.
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.