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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
  • We participate in the NRMP Match.

Overview and Curriculum

The Division of Pain Medicine at Johns Hopkins University offers a one year multidisciplinary fellowship program 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.  As a result, trainees will gain valuable insight and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain from a variety of perspectives. The Johns Hopkins Blaustein Pain Treatment Center (BPTC) is closely associated with anesthesiologists, neurologists and physiatrists. Trainees also have the opportunity for interaction with neurosurgeons, psychiatrists and oncologists who have expertise in pain management.

Fellows' clinical time will be divided amongst the inpatient and outpatient pain consultation services. There are also rotations lasting 1-2 weeks to other services within the hospital: the Departments of Anesthesiology, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Palliative Care, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Psychiatry. Clinical and basic science research is also a part of the fellowship.

The Pain Fellow will spend the majority of the clinical experience in the BPTC in the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center. The BPTC offers four consultation rooms and six PACU beds for recovering patients. It also houses two fluoroscopy rooms for x-ray guided procedural interventions. Chronic pain (non-malignant), cancer pain, and pediatric pain patients are examined and treated in the BPTC.

Each day, the team will consist 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 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 the pain faculty member. A graduated progression of leadership and clinical decision making occurs during subspecialty training. 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 assessment, plan and follow-up care for every patient in the BPTC, under the direct supervision of a pain faculty member. The fellow is also 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.

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 in the BPTC. There are also weekly oncology and spine conferences, grand rounds, journal clubs, as well as multidisciplinary pain conferences. 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.

Fellows are encouraged to participate in ongoing clinical investigations and laboratory research. Current fields of interest include the sympathetic nervous system and outcomes-based investigations.

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

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

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


Scheduled Events

ACCM Grand Rounds take place Thursdays at 7 AM in Hurd Hall. Windows Media Player is required to view webcasts.

9/3: ERAS Updates and Research – Chris Wu, MD
Watch webcast >>

9/10: Combined Multidisciplinary Grand Rounds with Nursing: "Safety Attitude Questionnaire Survey" – Laurie Saletnik, DNP
Watch webcast >>

Evidence-based Transfusion Practice and Blood Management Programs – Steven M. Frank, MD
Watch webcast >>

The Mark C. Rogers Lectureship: Future Trends in Reimbursement of Hospital-Based Physicians – Chet Burrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
Watch webcast >>

Sustainability in Medicine & Anesthesia – Lauren C. Berkow, MD
Watch webcast >>

Archived webcasts >>


Out of State and International Patients

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