Fellowship in Pain Medicine

Starting in 1993 the UC San Diego Pain Medicine Fellowship has offered specialist training in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain syndromes, cancer and palliative care, and acute pain. Our fellows learn to employ a multidimensional treatment approach that includes physical therapies, pharmacologic agents, psychological therapies, alternative medicine therapies, as well as a broad array of interventional techniques. The program’s multidisciplinary training of pain fellows includes core faculty from anesthesia, PM&R and neurology. Fellows also receive training from guest lecturers and rotation faculty from psychiatry, psychology, palliative medicine, gynecology, orthopedic surgery, radiology, and physical therapy. We accept fellowship applicants from any discipline that offers ABMS certification in Pain Medicine including: Anesthesia, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Neurology, Psychiatry, and others. 

Clinical training occurs primarily at UC San Diego Health’s Center for Pain Medicine outpatient and procedures clinics in La Jolla and at San Diego Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) pain clinic and pain procedure suite, also in La Jolla, California. Additionally, fellows consult on inpatients at UC San Diego’s La Jolla and Hillcrest Hospitals. Fellows have rotations in Psychiatry, Pediatric pain, Neuro-Radiology and Palliative Care. Each fellow receives 4 to 5 weeks of protected research time in order to concentrate on a project of their choosing. Fellows are paired with a research mentor who works closely with them throughout the 12 month fellowship. Lectures on anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, diagnosis, and management of pain are held weekly and cover a wide range of topics required by the ACGME. Pain Medicine grand rounds are also held weekly and include M&M case conferences, multidisciplinary grand rounds with our pain psychologists, Palliative Care Service joint case conferences, journal clubs, radiology rounds, research foums and a quarterly joint case tele-conference with UC Davis Pain Medicine Program.

The UC San Diego Pain Medicine Fellowship currently offers five positions per year.

Past and Current Fellows

Kelly Bruno, MD                                                 
Joel Castellanos, MD
       Brandon Dairo, MD
Dennis Kuo, MD
Jessica Oswald, MD             

Optional 2 Year Research and Clinical Pain Fellowship:

UC San Diego offers the option of a two year combined fellowship in clinical research and clinical pain management. The goal of the combined research/pain fellowship is to train physicians in research, education, and clinical pain medicine in order to launch their careers as independent academic researchers and clinical leaders in pain medicine. The structure of this combined fellowship is one year as a Neuromodulation Pain Research (NPR) fellow, followed by a second year as a clinical pain medicine fellow. The NPR research fellowship is funded by the Veterans Administration Office of Academic Affairs in conjunction with the Department of Psychiatry.  This program provides intensive training in clinical, academic and health systems research, study design and implementation, program administration, and provides essential training in grant writing techniques. Multiple mentored research opportunities are available with focus on furthering the understanding of neuromodulation mechanisms aimed to improve clinical efficacy. The combined UCSD-NPR/Pain Medicine fellowship provides an ideal setting in which to train talented physicians to become highly productive clinical researchers and leaders in the fields of neuromodulation and pain medicine. Applicants may indicate an interest in this combined fellowship via separate communication to the fellowship program director. Qualified applicants will be accepted for a two-year fellowship outside of the match.


Interested Candidates Should Apply through ERAS

    In addition to a complete ERAS application, the following supplemental materials must be sent directly to the fellowship program coordinator in order to complete the application:

    1. Copy of Medical School Diploma
    2. Copy of Intership Diploma (if applicable) 

    Applications will be accepted from December 1st – April 15th for positions starting the next year.

    Mail or email supplemental materials to:

    Timothy Furnish, MD
    ATTN: Debra Kerrigan, Pain Fellowship Coordinator
    UCSD, Dept. of Anesthesiology
    9300 Campus Point Drive, Mail Code 7651
    La Jolla, CA 92037

    For further information, contact:
    Debra Kerrigan
    Pain Fellowship Coordinator
    Office: (858) 657-7072
    Fax: (858) 657-5014

    Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.  Please contact us two weeks after sending supplemental materials to ensure completeness.

    Timothy Furnish, MD
    Director of Pain Fellowship Program
    Department of Anesthesiology

    Thornton Pavilion
    9300 Campus Point Dr., MC 7651 
    La Jolla, CA 92037

    Office: (858) 657-7072
    Fax: (858) 657-5014
    E-mail: tfurnish@ucsd.edu