Program Overview

Program Director: Trent D. Emerick, MD, MBA

Trent Emerick

The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Anesthesiology is proud to offer trainees a highly competitive, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited Pain Medicine Fellowship Program. Our pain medicine fellowship is the only one in the country that has received the maximum five year accreditation three times in a row. We exceed all of the ACGME’s requirements for a pain medicine program. Under the expert guidance of Dr. Ajay Wasan, a world-renowned pain medicine clinician and researcher, our program is in the process of reinvigorating itself to an even higher level of excellence.

Physicians who have completed an ACGME-approved residency may apply through several different tracks. Our program offers three innovative methods to achieve first-rate education and training in pain medicine. First, the traditional, clinical-based one-year fellowship fosters multidisciplinary training across several departments in interventional techniques, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, anesthesiology, palliative care, radiology, neurosurgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pain psychology, pain rehabilitation, and multimodal medical pain management. This includes extensive surgical training in advanced interventional procedures, such as spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal pump placement.

A second track is available for anesthesiology residents who are interested in conducting additional clinical research and receiving clinical research training. This program is a two-year track, where year one is dedicated to clinical research and year two is the traditional clinical pain fellowship training. A third option is available for physicians who are interested in pursuing clinical or basic science research for a longer period of time and receiving more extensive research training. This track combines the traditional one-year clinical training plus another two years of research funded in part by National Institutes of Health T32 programs. These exciting and innovative opportunities present fellows with multiple avenues to reach their career goals.

Our Pain Medicine Fellowship program provides trainees with extensive exposure to the full spectrum of pain conditions and treatment. Fellows are exposed to a multitude of physicians, health care providers, practice environments, and hospitals. There are 32 hospitals in the UPMC system, one of the largest academic health care systems in the country. We staff pain clinics at seven of these hospitals. Our program is committed to quality care and innovation, with a focus on preparing our graduates for the future.

Our fellowship is also proud to have strong relationships with world leaders in pain and genetic research. The Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research works closely with our fellows to train them in cutting-edge and emerging approaches to pain medicine, including a course in the basic and translational science of pain medicine. Additionally, our program offers a wealth of future available clinical research that has greatly expanded over the past year. Research in our fellowship is strongly encouraged and supported.