Pain Medicine - UW Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine

About the Pain Medicine Fellowship

“Integrating science and compassion to relieve pain and suffering.”

The UW pain medicine fellowship offers a close-knit and supportive learning environment that challenges fellows to become active learners, skilled teachers, and excellent clinicians. Our graduates have the clinical experience and skillset to perform all basic interventional pain procedures and are able to manage complex chronic primary pain in a compassionate and evidenced-based manner. 

This is a one-year clinical program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) since 1993. Our program aims to recruit diverse candidates, foster an environment of self-directed learning, and develop pain medicine specialists who will thrive, teach, and lead in all areas of pain medicine.

Our Pain Medicine fellowship program is committed to recruiting diverse physicians to meet the changing needs of our patient population. In this context, we are mindful of all aspects of human differences such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, spiritual practice, geography, disability, career goals, and age. Our objective is to create a climate that fosters compassion, belonging, respect, and value for all and encourages engagement and connection throughout the program.

We aim to recruit candidates who demonstrate excellence in academics, leadership, and communication; to create an environment of self-directed learning to encourage trainees to become effective lifelong learners; to develop pain medicine specialists who are able to thrive, teach, and lead in all areas of pain medicine.

Our mission is “to provide world-class education to physicians in multidisciplinary pain medicine who will then meet the needs of the community and beyond, by advancing the art and science of pain medicine and assume leadership in the field.” Our fellowship is unique for several reasons:

  • We are the birthplace of the world’s first functional restoration clinic established by John Bonica in 1961, so appreciation of and emphasis on multimodal interdisciplinary pain care is in our DNA.
  • The University of Washington is a National Institutes of Health Pain Consortium designated Center of Excellence in Pain Education.
  • In just one short year, our fellows rotate through the UW Medical Center – Roosevelt pain clinic, the Swedish pain clinic (a robust private practice located in downtown Seattle), the Puget Sound VA, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, and a one month elective month where fellows decide how to best supplement their education based on their personal clinical interests.
  • Our fellows have the opportunity to network and be mentored by some of the world’s most respected researchers, policy leaders, and educators in the field.

Didactic education

We offer a unique and rich didactic curriculum that fully covers and expands upon the ACGME pain medicine requirements. Our fellows benefit from a robust, multi-institutional, multidisciplinary didactic schedule that includes:

  • Fellows’ Pain Lecture: A weekly foundations didactic required for all our fellows using a flip-the-classroom teaching technique. At the beginning of the year, each fellow selects topics of interest and works with a faculty member to create a quality, interactive and relevant didactic for the group. The presenting fellow and faculty send out reading/video material ahead of time so everyone is prepared for the discussion-based session. Learn more about the flipped classroom here.
  • Pain Learning EXchange (PLEX): We are leading a multi-institutional virtual didactic program with over 25 participating fellowships in the US and Canada. This is a series of teaching sessions on Zoom.
  • Quarterly Journal/Book Club
  • Monthly case conference
  • Annual cadaver lab for cervical fluoroscopic procedures
  • Optional weekly telepain: A weekly virtual lecture and conference held for local primary care providers to present difficult chronic pain cases and receive guidance from a panel of pain experts.
  • Optional weekly spine conference: A virtual multidisciplinary conference held between surgeons, PM&R and pain physicians where cases, imaging, and surgical or alternative treatment plans are discussed.

Clinical experience

Our fellows experience a variety of different practice environments in our six (6) unique training hospitals in the Seattle area.

  • University of Washington Medical Center – Roosevelt: Located in the heart of the University District, the UW Medical Center – Roosevelt’s Center for Pain Relief (CPR) is the hub of the fellowship and the location of the didactic sessions and Fellows Clinic. CPR offers outpatient clinics, a procedural suite equipped with a 3D CT scanner, fluoroscopy and ultrasound. Please visit UW Medicine’s CPR webpage  for more information.
  • Harborview Medical Center: Each fellow spends four weeks at Harborview – the only Level 1 trauma center in the five-state WWAMI region (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho). Harborview is the hub for orthopedics, spine, burn care, and trauma surgery. Fellows rotate on the acute pain service, a team specializing in treating acute postsurgical pain with particular expertise in regional anesthesia and treatment of patients with opioid tolerance. All attendings on this service are chronic pain trained anesthesiologists, and most are dual board certified in Addiction Medicine. Please visit our pain clinical division page for more information.
  • VA Puget Sound Health Care System: Each adult pain fellow spends one-and-a-half to two months at the VA. The VA has a cutting-edge pain and functional restoration center which includes acupuncture, message, yoga, and interventional pain services. Fellows rotate in the Pain and PM&R clinic located at the main campus in Seattle. For more information, visit our pain clinical division page.
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center: Fellows will split time on the UW Inpatient cancer/chronic pain service at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, which features a unique sickle cell clinic. Please visit our pain clinical division page for more information.
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital: This is popular elective opportunity, as Children’s features a state-of-the-art pediatric pain clinic. Children’s also supports a pediatric pain fellow. Please visit our our pain clinical division page for more information.

Sample rotation schedule

Please refer to the UW GME Summary of Benefits for Residents and Fellows for updated stipend information, insurance and retirement benefits, policies, procedures, and other available resources.

Financial support

Annual Stipend: The UW Pain Fellowship salary is based on the UW GME schedule and may change from year to year.

Academic Allowance: Subject to available funding, fellows will receive $1,500 each academic year as “all inclusive” support of their general academic expenses incurred during their time of training.

PTO and leave

Please refer to the UW Resident and Fellow Physician Union – Northwest Contract for institutional PTO and leave allowance. All leave of absence during training is subject to policies set by the American Board of Anesthesiology.

Learn about life and training in Seattle. Visit our GME’s website for Prospective Residents and Fellows.

Program Director: Margaret Hsu, M.D.

Associate Program Director: Rana Al-Jumah, M.D.

Program Administrator: Miranda Laws

Contact Information:

See a complete list of our pain medicine faculty, fellows and staff.

Four NRMP tracks, six fellowship positions

We offer five fellowship positions available for individuals who have successfully completed a residency accredited by the ACGME by the fellowship start date. We also offer a one-year ACGME accredited Pediatric Pain Medicine Fellowship. This position is open to residency- or fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologists, pediatricians, pediatric neurologists, family practice physicians, and child psychiatrists.

  • Pain Medicine (1918530F0)
    • These three positions are open to every specialty eligible to take the Pain Medicine Boards.
  • Pain Medicine – Non-Anesthesia (1918530F2)
    • This one position is only open to non-anesthesiologists who are eligible to take the Pain Medicine Boards.
    • If you are an interested non-anesthesiologist, please apply to this position as well as the regular pain medicine position described above.
  • Pain Medicine – Anesthesia (1918530F3)
    • This position is only open to anesthesiologists who are eligible to take the Pain Medicine Boards.
    • If you are an interested anesthesiologist, please apply to this position as well as the regular pain medicine position described above.
  • Pain Medicine – Pediatric (1918530F2)
    • This one position is open to a pediatrician, pediatric neurologist, or other fellowship trained pediatric specialist such as a pediatric anesthesiologist. If you are interested in this position, please contact our program coordinator separately.


Applicants must meet the following qualifications to be eligible for appointment to an ACGME accredited program:

  • All required clinical education for entry into ACGME accredited fellowship programs must be completed in an ACGME-accredited residency program, an AOA_approved residency program, a program with ACGME International (ACGME-I) Advanced Specialty Accreditation, or in a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)-accredited or College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)-accredited residency program located in Canada. [CPR III.A.1.] The program must receive verification of each entering fellow’s level of competence in the required field, upon matriculation, using ACGME, ACGME-I, or CanMEDS Milestones evaluations from the core residency program (CPR III.A.1.a). Exceptions to the fellowship eligibility requirements are outlined the Pain Fellowship Eligibility and Selection Policy.
  • Candidates must ensure they are eligible for a Washington State provider license, be authorized to work in the United States at the time of appointment and meet applicable essential abilities requirements of the program.


The Pain Medicine Fellowship program accepts foreign national physicians who meet the eligibility and selection requirements. Foreign nationals requiring visa sponsorship must obtain a J-1 visa sponsored by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). The University of Washington generally does not provide H-1B sponsorship for fellows in its clinical training programs unless the fellow is otherwise ineligible for a J-1 visa.

*Applicants need to request consideration for an H1-B visa from programs prior to ranking. Applicants cannot be ranked or accepted into the fellowship program until the program receives approval by the GME Office and ISO/Academic HR for an H-1B visa sponsorship.

Please see Pain Medicine Fellowship Program Eligibility & Selection Policy for more information.


Applications are accepted via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) which is administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The Pain Medicine fellowship program participates in the December match cycle.