Pain Management Center In The Department of Anesthesia

Clinical Pain Psychology Fellowship

We are now accepting applications for the Pain Psychology Fellowship for the 2014-15 academic year.

Contents of This Page:

Program Overview

Although Psychologists play a critical role in the evaluation and management of many pain conditions, there are few formal programs in the country dedicated to training psychology graduates to become specialists in this field. The Division of Pain Management at Stanford University Medical Center created a Pain Psychology postdoctoral fellowship program in 2011 to help address this need. Fellows are provided with clinical and didactic experiences to help them learn the role of biopsychosocial factors in the onset, maintenance, and treatment of pain conditions in the context of a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, collaborative training environment.

The specialty of Pain Medicine has experienced remarkable growth and change over the last several decades. Stanford has been at the forefront of these changes from clinical, educational and research perspectives. To treat chronic pain, Stanford employs state-of the-art, interventional, pharmacologic, and psychological-based therapies, including implantable spinal cord stimulators, fluoroscopic and ultrasound-guided procedures, intrathecal drug-delivery systems, individual psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral skills classes, and acceptance and commitment therapy groups. Within the western United States, Stanford is fortunate to have the only inpatient, academic, chronic pain management unit, able to care for the most complex pain patients. With the opening of the extraordinary Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center (SMOC) and construction of a new hospital, we anticipate significantly expanding our range of treatment options as we move into the future.

Message from the Training Director

The Stanford Pain Service is a multidisciplinary center that provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient treatment for acute and chronic pain conditions. Our treatment approach generally focuses on functional rehabilitation: specialists from the fields of anesthesia, physiatry, neurology, psychiatry, psychology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nursing work together to help patients achieve improvement in quality of life despite the presence of pain. Psychologists are an integral part of the service, and provide psychological evaluations and assessments, perform pre-surgical screenings for implantable therapies, and engage in individual and group-based treatments. The American Pain Society recognized and validated the interdisciplinary model of pain management practiced by the Stanford Pain Center by recognizing us as a Clinical Center of Excellence.

The APA-accredited Pain Psychology Fellowship is comprised of both clinical and academic responsibilities. Clinically, Fellows will participate in a full-range of outpatient evaluation and treatment services and will have the opportunity to observe inpatient treatment in the unique Stanford Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Pain Program (SCIPP). Academically, Fellows participate in didactic lectures and journal clubs in both the Pain Division and the Psychiatry Department. Fellows will give presentations at these sessions to complement their clinical education. Lastly, Fellows will work on a small pain-related research project over the course of the year. The topic will be chosen at the start of the Fellowship and protected time is provided each week to work on it. Although not a requirement of the Fellowship, individuals with a specific interest in research are also able to participate in additional opportunities in our NIH-funded research lab, the Stanford Neuroscience and Pain Lab (SNAPL).

Stanford is an exceptionally rewarding place to work and train. There is a plethora of research activity throughout the campus and countless opportunities to enhance one’s knowledge base. This atmosphere extends into the Pain Division, where interpersonal interactions are marked by collegiality and mutual respect is pervasive across disciplines. I hope you will agree with this assessment and that you find your fellowship year to be a gratifying life experience.

Thank you for your interest in our program. Please take time to browse our entire site, in which you will find details about the pain psychology fellowship program, facts about living in the San Francisco Bay Area, salary and benefits, current and past fellows, and application information and materials.

I look forward to reviewing your application.


Ravi Prasad, PhD
Assistant Chief, Division of Pain Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine

Primary Training Facility: Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center



In February 2009, we relocated our pain clinic to a new 7,500 square-foot facility at the Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center (SMOC) in Redwood City, tripling our original square footage (detail here). SMOC is a state-of-the-art facility in which to deliver interdisciplinary treatment strategies. The center’s décor and ambiance were modeled after a 5-star hotel and technologically, the center serves as the model for the new Stanford Hospital currently being developed. There are on-site radiological services (MRIs, CT scans, X-rays) and a fluoroscopy suite. We are extremely enthusiastic about our future in the new facility and are certain that our new class of fellows will share our excitement.


“We are very excited about the possibilities for patient care our expanded space at the Outpatient Center will support,” said Pain Management Center director Sean Mackey, MD, PhD. “We also know that our proximity to other clinics in the Outpatient Center will enrich our ability to offer patients the most convenient coordinated care, to help them understand how they can help themselves to modify and control their experience of pain.”

The Pain Management Center already works closely with surgeons and other physicians in pioneering approaches to pain relief and control. The Center’s holistic treatment philosophy and its innovative techniques using nerve blocks and other procedures gained its recognition as one of 12 Centers of Excellence nationwide recognized by the American Pain Society. The new location for the Center means easier access to the state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment the Center employs for patient evaluations. The Center’s team of pain specialists will also find it easier to collaborate to build multidisciplinary treatments for their patients, Mackey said. “And we’ll be able to see more patients, provide them with more treatment options in one place and take advantage of the synergy you get when you’re not scattered about.” -- Sara Wykes, SHC Communications Office

Clinical Experience & Curriculum

In addition to clinical responsibilities, fellows are expected to attend weekly didactic lectures, teaching rounds, monthly journal club meetings, grand rounds, and mortality and morbidity conferences. We also encourage our fellows to register and attend relevant conferences/seminars.

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area

Without a doubt, the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the nation’s most desirable places to live: its diverse cultures, temperate year-round climate, world-class arts scene, food and wine, and access to recreation (ski slopes, hiking trails, redwood forests, beaches, wine country, and bustling cities) afford delightfully unique benefits. Stanford University sits within the dynamic Silicon Valley region, in the cosmopolitan town of Palo Alto – just 35 miles south of San Francisco and 15 miles north of San Jose.

Virtually all clinical training will take place at the Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center in Redwood City and a weekly didactic series is held on the main Stanford campus in Palo Alto. To maintain proximity to these sites, fellows often reside in San Carlos, Redwood City, Menlo Park, or Mountain View – family-friendly towns with cheaper housing than Palo Alto. Stanford West Apartments, a convenient Stanford-owned option in Palo Alto, is available to fellows. These apartments are located across from the Stanford University Medical Center (SUMC). Fellows can bike, walk or ride the free Marguerite Shuttle bus to SUMC, other campus sites, and the downtown Palo Alto train station.

View Stanford Pain Psychology Fellowship in a larger map

Stipend & Benefits

Stanford University offers fellows exceptional salary and benefits, as outlined below.

  • Competitive stipend, please inquire for details
  • Medical, dental, vision, disability, life and accident benefits provided
  • Partial coverage offered for spouses/registered domestic partners and/or children

Paid leave includes the following:

  • 15 days vacation/personal time off
  • 15 days sick leave
  • 5 days conference attendance
  • 6 weeks pregnancy leave
  • 1 week paternity leave
  • University holidays

Current & Past Fellows

Year Name Graduate School Internship
2011-12 Jeremy Bartz, PhD Brigham Young University VA Caribbean
Health Care System
2012-13 Sue Gritzner, PsyD Pacific University Wayne State University
2013-14 Kristen Richards, PsyD Loma Linda University Southern Arizona VA Health Care System
2013-14 J. Drew Sturgeon, PhD Arizona State University Ann Arbor VA Health Care System

Life After Fellowship

Our program focuses on training future leaders in the field of pain medicine, whether they pursue academic or community practices. Thus far, our program graduates have been able to successfully complete state licensure requirements and secured private practice and academic medical center positions.

Application Information & Materials

All applicants must have completed:
1) APA- or CPA-accredited graduate programs in clinical or counseling psychology;
2) APA- or CPA-accredited internship; and
3) all requirements for their PhD or PsyD prior to the beginning of their appointment.

Application Information:

To apply, please complete the online application.

You will need the following information when completing the online application:
1) A cover letter outlining your interest in Pain Psychology;
2) Your CV;
3) The names and contact information of three individuals who will provide letters of recommendation. Please note that these individuals will receive an email from Stanford requesting that a letter be uploaded into the system on your behalf.

For questions about the Pain Psychology Fellowship, please contact Ravi Prasad:

Application Deadline:  January 6, 2014. Applications received by December 2, 2013 will be given priority; however, we will continue to review applications until the final deadline in January. Minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Fellowship Start Date: September 1, 2014 (flexible).


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