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Pain Medicine Fellowship

Quick Facts

  • Accredited by: Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
  • ABA Certified: Yes
  • Duration of Program: 1 Year fellowship Program
  • Positions Available: 4
  • Application enrollment date(s) or deadline: Applications accepted Feb 1st through May 31st
  • Applicant Qualifications: Completion of an ACGME accredited residency program, most often in Anesthesiology, PMR, Psychiatry, or Neurology
  • Beginning this year, we will be participating in the NRPM Match.

Overview and Curriculum

The Division of Pain Medicine at Johns Hopkins University is committed to providing excellence in patient care for both acute and chronic pain patients, utilizing all techniques and modalities currently available. Education of our residents and fellows, along with ground breaking research are primary goals of the department. As one of the few multidisciplinary pain programs in the country, trainees will gain invaluable insight and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain from a variety of perspectives. The Johns Hopkins Pain Treatment Center is closely associated with anesthesiologists, neurologists, and physiatrists. Trainees also have the opportunity for interaction with neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, and oncologists who have an expertise in pain management. Special programs in addition to the Acute and Chronic pain services include the Pediatric Pain, Cancer Pain, Pelvic Pain, and Behavioral Health oriented pain programs which are offered in conjunction with the Departments of Oncology OB-GYN, Neurology and Psychiatry.

The Pain Treatment Center is located in a state-of-the-art outpatient center. The clinic has four exam rooms, two procedure rooms with a fluoroscopic C-arm, and a six monitored bed recovery room. Currently, the clinic has 7000 patient visits per year, with approximately 1000 being new evaluations, staffed by two attending physicians daily and a nurse practitioner.

Educational objectives are achieved through didactic lectures, clinical care, procedural interventions, and involvement with ongoing research projects. Lectures are held for one hour three times a week. Also there are weekly oncology and spine conferences, grand rounds, journal clubs, as well as multidisciplinary pain conferences held twice per week. Trainees are encouraged to participate in ongoing clinical investigations and laboratory research. Current fields of interest include the sympathetic nervous system and outcomes-based investigations. Trainees will become proficient in the performance of numerous procedures including but not limited to: celiac plexus blockade, hypogastric plexus blockade, ganglion impar blocks, stellate ganglion blocks, neurolytic techniques, facet blocks, radio frequency ablation, pulsed radio-frequency techniques, spinal cord stimulation, implantable intrathecal pumps, epidural steroid injections, peripheral nerve blocks, lumbar sympathetic blocks, transforaminal nerve blocks, discography IDET, and percutaneaus decompression (nucleoplasty). Exposure to CT guided procedures will also be included.

The Pain Fellow will spend the majority of the clinical experience in the outpatient Blaustein pain treatment center (PTC) of the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The PTC offers 4 consultation rooms and 6 PACU beds for recovering patients. It also houses 2 fluroscopy rooms for x-ray guided procedural interventions. In sum, pain fellows have the opportunity to gain clinical experience from over 4,000 patient visits per year. Chronic pain (non-malignant), cancer pain, and pediatric pain patients are examined and treated in the PTC. The team consists of two pain fellows, two pain faculty members, three registered nurses, one physician assistant, one to two fluoroscopy technologists, two clinical associates, three anesthesia residents, an intermittent PM&R resident, and occasional medical students. Each pain fellow pairs with one attending during the day and assumes clinical responsibility for the consultation and procedural (interventional) elements of patient care under the direct supervision of a pain faculty member. A graduated progression of leadership and clinical decision making occurs during subspecialty training. That is, the pain fellow is expected to make more independent clinical decisions with respect to both the pharmacotherapeutic and inteventional management of pain patients as the training period progresses. Each fellow is responsible for the initial evaluation /assessment/plan and follow up care for every patient in the PTC, under the direct supervision of a pain faculty member. The fellow is responsible for supervising the care provided by residents and students. Key goals of the fellowship include developing a strong core knowledge of pain conditions, understanding methods of assessing pain patients, formulating a thorough treatment plan, making appropriate referrals to other disciplines, acquiring technical expertise with procedural interventions, and engaging a multidisciplinary approach in the care of pain patients. Fellows are expected to feel comfortable leading a pain care team and fostering a high level of communication and collaboration with the various specialists on the service. Pain fellows achieve a longitudinal care experience with patients suffering from chronic pain over the course of their one year in fellowship training.

The Division of Pain Medicine offers a one year fellowship with the goal of producing physicians who will not only be technically skilled in interventional pain management, The Division of Pain Medicine offers a one year fellowship with the goal of producing physicians who will not only be technically skilled in interventional pain management, but will become leaders in the field. Training will emphasize the ability to analyze and manage clinical and research problems, and to arrive at innovative and practical solutions using procedural , pharmacotherapeutic, physiatric, and/or mind/body therapies.

Fellows' clinical time will be divided amongst the inpatient and outpatient pain consultation services. Elective time is offered as well, which may be used for clinical experience with the Departments of Neurosurgery, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Psychiatry, Radiology or Interventional Neuroradiology. Clinical and basic science research is also a part of the fellowship.

Fellows are expected to participate in the educational functions of the division, which includes teaching medical students and residents. The pain management fellowship, most importantly, is tailored to the career goals of each individual.


Research is performed utilizing the extensive research resources of the Johns Hopkins Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine laboratories. Fellows can expect support in the form of supervision, equipment and supplies. Current division research includes mechanisms of pain, pharmacology of pain therapy, outcomes and cost effectiveness of therapeutic options.


Srinivasa Raja, MD - Professor; Chief of Pain Medicine Division and Director of Pain Research

Steven Cohen MD - Associate Professor; Director, Resident Education Program; Director of the Divisional Quality Assurance Program

Paul J. Christo, MD MBA - Associate Professor; Director, Multidisciplinary Pain Fellowship (2003-2011)

Michael Erdek, MD - Associate Professor; Pain Fellowship Program Director

Ronen Shechter, MD - Assistant Professor

Kayode A. Williams, MD, MBA, FFARCSI - Associate Professor; Director of the Blaustein Pain Center

Pain Medicine Fellows 2014

Frank Lee, MD – Johns Hopkins University
Caleb Kroll, MD – Johns Hopkins University
Vanston Masri, MD – Case Western Reserve University
Zackary Boomsaad, MD – University of Michigan Medical School

Pain Medicine Fellows 2015

Mark Bilezikjian, MD - Johns Hopkins University
Bryt Christensen, MD - Johns Hopkins University
Trinadha Pilla, MD - University of Illinois
Colin Rock, MD - University of Michigan


Pain Medicine Fellowship
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
550 N. Broadway, Suite 301
Baltimore, Maryland 21287
410-955-1818 or 410-614-2792

Michael Erdek, MD, Program Director
Michael Erdek, MD
Program Director

Shanita Andrews
Program Coordinator


Grand Rounds
Calendar and Webcasts

Grand Rounds take place Thursdays at 7 AM in Hurd Hall.

9/25: Quality Assurance Committee Meeting

10/2: "Patient And Family-Centered Approach To Advance Care Planning" – Rebecca Aslakson, MD, PhD
Watch webcast >>

10/9: Patient-Based Learning Discussion – Tracey Smith Stierer, MD

Eighth Robert A. Abraham, MD Endowed Lecture: "Post-Cesarean Pain Management: Past, Present, and Future" – Brendan Carvalho, MBBCh, FRCA, MDCH
Watch webcast >>
Learn more about Robert A. Abraham, MD >>

"Translational Therapies for Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury" – Courtney Robertson, MD
Watch webcast >>

Archived webcasts >>


Out of State and International Patients

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