Pain Medicine Residency Program

Overview

The twenty-six block, two-year program will train candidates to become competent specialists in Pain Medicine, capable of assuming leadership roles in education, research, and clinical practice pertaining to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of the spectrum of acute pain, cancer pain, and non-cancer pain problems. In many cases, the physician practicing in this subspecialty will be the medical director of a multidisciplinary team, and hence must be versed in pain management/relief methods employed by team members who are physicians or allied health professionals.

Candidates certified by the Royal College in Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Psychiatry, or Rheumatology are eligible for certification in Pain Medicine.

At the end of the two-year program, candidates will be eligible to sit for the examination in Pain Medicine and, if successful, will be certified by the Royal College in the subspecialty of Pain Medicine.

To access information from the Royal College about Pain Medicine Residency, please click here.

Program Highlights

The Pain Medicine Residency Program at McMaster University has much to offer trainees:

 

Dedicated Teaching Facility

McMaster University boasts a large, diverse, and experienced clinical faculty in pain medicine from multiple backgrounds, including Anesthesia, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Psychiatry, Neurology, and Surgery.

 

Clinical Experience

The two large academic chronic pain clinics, the Michael G. DeGroote Pain Clinic and St. Joseph's Healthcare Pain Clinic, are two of the busiest academic pain clinics in the province, providing pain medicine residents with exposure to and experience with a wide variety of pain conditions and pain treatments.

 

Excellence in Interventional Procedures

The program will offer residents numerous opportunities to participate in ultrasound and fluoroscopic guided procedure opportunities taught by faculty who are nationally-recognized speakers and lecturers at various conferences. There is a growing neuromodulation program that will offer residents an unparalleled opportunity to receive training in this state-of-the-art pain treatment modality.

 

Varied Elective Opportunities

McMaster has a well-regarded Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program in which the resident can enroll and complete. We are able to offer a wide range of electives from research and biostatistics to neuromodulation, diagnostic imaging, public health and preventative medicine, and curriculum development, as well as work at the Institute for Pain Research and Care and the National Pain Centre (both associated with McMaster University).

Selection Criteria

Candidates should demonstrate strong academic achievements and interest in pain medicine, as well as excellent interpersonal skills, work ethic, and leadership potential. All active residents should be in good stand standing with their program director.

 

Criteria for Graduates of a Canadian Medical School
  • Who are currently in their final year (PGY-4 to PGY-5) or who have completed training in a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Psychiatry, and Rheumatology. Entry from other FRCPC programs such as Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, and Palliative Care is possible in exceptional cases.
  • Who are currently in their final year or who have completed training in an accredited US ACGME program in Anesthesiology, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Psychiatry, and Rheumatology. Entry from other FRCPC programs such as Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, and Palliative Care is possible in exceptional cases. Applicants in this category must receive an official ruling or eligibility to to sit the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada exams in their core specialty prior to application to be eligible to apply.

 

Criteria for International Medical Graduates
  • Who are currently in their final year (R4 to R5) or who have completed training in a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada accredited program in Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Psychiatry, and Rheumatology. Entry from other FRCPC programs such as Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, and Palliative Care is possible in exceptional cases.
  • Internal Medical Graduate applicants must declare any Return of Service obligations on the application and may be disqualified if their provincial obligations preclude subspecialty training.

Program Curriculum

The residency program is for years. Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College of Family Physicians of Canada Standard.

The Pain Medicine Residency Program consists of twenty-six (26) four-week blocks. Some blocks are completed sequentially, while others are completed longitudinally.

13 blocks of clinical experience in an outpatient multidisciplinary pain clinic. Within these 13 blocks, there will be longitudinal rotations through sleep medicine and neuromodulation. The 13 blocks include the following:

  • 1 block acute pain service
  • 1 block cancer pain and symptom management
  • 1 block MSK - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Rheumatology
  • 1 block Neurology
  • 1 block pediatric pain service
  • 2 blocks Psychiatry, including one block of addiction medicine
  • 6 blocks to be chosen from one or more of the following:
    • Adolescent Medicine
    • Bioethics
    • Community-based experience in Pain Medicine
    • Diagnostic Imaging
    • Education/curriculum development
    • Gastroenterology
    • Interventional Pain Medicine/neuromodulation
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Orthopedic/spine surgery
    • Public Health and Preventative Medicine
    • Research methodology/biostatistics
    • Other rotations relevant to training in Pain Medicine, as approved by the Program Director

Seminars

Academic half-days will be held weekly; a set curriculum will cover a wide range of pain medicine topics and related subjects, such as practice management, communication skills, ethics, biostatistics, and critical appraisal. Furthermore, residents will contribute to the academic half-day through regular presentations, journal clubs, research updates, and trouble rounds.

Research

All residents will be required to complete a research project during their two-year residency training. Acceptable projects include: quality assurance project, retrospective study (chart review), systematic review (meta-analysis), or clinical trial.

In order to meet this requirement, the Department of Anesthesia has a Research Office with resources to assist residents. Dr. Harsha Shanthanna, a member of the pain medicine faculty, is available to meet with residents and guide them in their research project plans.