Fellowship in Pain Medicine

Thank you for inquiring about the Pain Medicine Fellowship at Virginia Mason. We offer a 12-month experience in pain management, which is organized through the Department of Anesthesiology and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Two pain fellows are selected each year.

We are committed to providing a top quality experience for the fellow, with a balanced exposure to acute and post-operative pain management, chronic benign pain management and cancer pain management. Each fellowship is further tailored to meet individual objectives, with outside rotations and clinical pain research.

Overall, this makes for a congenial and stimulating academic environment.

Acute and Postoperative Pain Management:

Virginia Mason is a tertiary referral center for the Pacific Northwest. Anesthetics are administered for many complicated surgical cases and regional anesthetic techniques are utilized in the majority of these cases.

As a result, we have a busy post-operative pain service. Opportunity for research in the area of perioperative pain management is vast and the fellows are encouraged to participate.

We have a highly regarded anesthesiology training program, with 27 residents. In addition, we have an average of two fellows obtaining additional training in regional anesthesia.

Chronic Benign Pain Management:

Chronic benign pain is optimally managed via a multi-disciplinary approach. The Anesthesiology Pain Service at Virginia Mason sees a large number of patients with chronic benign pain referred for consultation as well as diagnostic or therapeutic nerve blocks.

The vast array of psychological, social and occupational issues that patients present requires a multi-specialty approach. When appropriate, the Anesthesiology Pain Service works in conjunction with Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Psychology in the management of chronic benign pain. A highly developed group of physicians see these patients on a daily basis.

The Anesthesiology Pain Medicine Fellow rotates for a month with this group, learning the practice and business of chronic pain management from the perspective not typically available in anesthesiology training programs.

Cancer Pain Management:

Virginia Mason operates a cancer center, and our liaison with the medical and radiation oncologists provides a steady flow of patients with advanced cancer pain. Most of these patients are candidates for neurolytic blocks or implanted devices to deliver neuraxial pain medication.

Our cancer center continues to expand, and in conjunction with the Anesthesiology Pain Service, is developing an organized and comprehensive approach to pain management for all patients. World-renowned pancreatic cancer surgery and oncology specialists draw a large number of patients to Virginia Mason for treatment of pancreatic cancer. We provide neurolytic celiac plexus blocks to many of these patients as well as ongoing consultative pain medicine care.

Other Rotations:

The Pain Medicine Fellows also have rotations in Diagnostic Radiology and Neurology. In addition to pain management experience at Virginia Mason, several rotations to local institutions may be pursued, depending upon the fellow's individual interests. These include pediatric pain management at Seattle Children's, and other opportunities.

An optional month of research is available for the fellow who is interested in planning a research project.

Regional anesthesia skills are integral to pain management practice. A rotation in Regional Anesthesia is available. This rotation affords extensive exposure to thoracic epidural techniques as well as peripheral nerve blocks and peripheral nerve catheters.

For further information, contact:

Christine L. Oryhan, MD
Program Director, Pain Medicine Fellowship
c/o Kayla Davis, Program Coordinator
925 Seneca St. M.S. H8-GME
Seattle, WA 98111

Phone: (206) 341-1298  
Email: Kayla.Davis@VirginiaMason.org

All applications and supporting documents need to be submitted to the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Contact ERAS directly for assistance with the application process.