Fellowship in Regional Anesthesia

We consider our RAAPM fellowship at UCSD to be the top fellowship program in the country. We are pleased to introduce you to the first Regional Anesthesia Fellowship program in California to be recognized by the American Society of Regional Anesthesia Fellowship Directors.

At UC San Diego, postgraduate fellows will be immersed in a comprehensive curriculum incorporating advanced regional anesthesia techniques, such as continuous perineural infusion and ultrasound-guidance; multimodal acute pain management strategies; and clinical and translational research.

The UC San Diego Regional Anesthesia Fellowship emphasizes expert training in state-of-the-art regional anesthesia techniques and multi-modal strategies for acute pain management. We constantly strive to keep our curriculum fresh and provide our fellows with the most comprehensive and advanced training program available.

RAAPM Fellowship Overview

The fellowship structure is:

  • Flexible, with time allocated to the inpatient and ambulatory center block rooms, Acute Pain Service, OR, and nonclinical pursuits
  • Fellows will have one dedicated academic day per week and one attending OR day per week (either supervising or providing solo anesthesia coverage), which helps augment salary.

Our fellows practice in a block room setting in order to gain necessary repetition and a high volume of procedures, where they learn strategies to optimize patient flow, increase procedural efficiency and system performance, and establish patient rapport for effective follow-up.

In addition to clinical training, our fellows have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in our productive clinical research program. Fellows’ involvement in research can range from simply performing the research-related procedures to heading up their own projects as principal investigators.
  • Participate in pediatric regional anesthesia and pain management rotation in collaboration with Anesthesia Services Medical Group at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego
  • Participate in international medical missions involving regional anesthesia. See our past philanthropy work.
  • Rotate in the preoperative care clinic and help improve enhanced recovery after surgery pathways
  • Improve education projects including simulation teaching
  • Involvement with the UCSD Perioperative Ultrasound Initiative.

One-Year Fellowship - Clinical and didactic training in regional anesthesia and analgesia

Positions: 6 annually (July, August, September and January start dates).

Salary: Yearly salaries range from $110,000 to >$220,000 depending on amount of attending call taken. Plethora of attending main OR and OB call available to augment salary. 

Fellowship Structure

  • Evaluate patients
  • Perform a multitude of regional anesthesia procedures in a regional anesthesia induction area (aka “block room”)
  • Follow patients receiving regional anesthesia postoperatively both in the outpatient and inpatient setting (including Orthopedic Surgery, Burn, Trauma, Vascular, General, and Breast Surgery)
  • Learn to organize and lead both a regional anesthesia service and Acute Pain Service
  • Serve as a consultant on the Acute Pain Service, which manages all aspects of inpatient pain management for surgical specialties including Surgical Oncology, Colorectal Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, General Surgery and Urology.
  • Fellows spend one day per week in the operating room either supervising residents or providing direct patient care as staff anesthesiologists
  • Spend significant time supervising residents rotating through regional anesthesia

Clinical Experience

  • Master basic single-injection and continuous peripheral nerve block techniques
  • Employ ultrasound-guidance and electrical stimulation, as well as advanced ultrasound-guided regional
    anesthesia procedures and paravertebral blocks
  • Gain experience managing continuous perineural infusions for inpatients and outpatients, as well adjunct analgesic medications
  • Learn to apply regional anesthesia techniques in a variety of surgical settings including trauma, elective outpatient and more invasive orthopedics, vascular surgery, abdominal and pelvic procedures, head and neck surgery, and plastic/reconstructive surgery for adult and pediatric patients

Research Possibilities

  • Participate in the design and execution of randomized prospective controlled trials in regional anesthesia and acute pain medicine
  • Research in novel therapies for acute pain medicine including ultrasound-guided percutaneous cryoanalgesia and peripheral neuromodulation (i.e. peripheral nerve stimulators for postoperative pain)
  • Execute retrospective projects using institutional and national data to identify trends and patterns in regional anesthesia and pain practice
  • Design and execute improve enhanced recovery pathways for surgical patients in the acute pain service
  • Research in the efficacy of various multimodal approaches to acute pain management
  • see our division's list of publications in the recent years

Application Materials

Please submit an ASRA Common Application or UCSD Regional Anesthesia Fellowship Application, an updated CV, three letters of recommendation (one from program director), a recent picture, USMLE and Specialty In-Service Scores, copy of Medical School Diploma and a brief personal statement outlining interest in fellowship and the specialty of regional anesthesia (600-word maximum).

Applications for the 2020 RAAPM fellowship year will be accepted from January 1st through March 30th or until positions filled. We are looking for candidates for 1-year fellowships to start in July, August, and September 2020.  We also have a January 2020 off-cycle position available. Please indicate which positions you are applying for. ​ Incomplete application packets will not be reviewed.

Our Faculty

Rodney A. Gabriel, MD, MAS (Division Chief)
Matthew W. Swisher, MD, MS (Fellowship Director)
Engy T. Said, MD (Acute Pain Service Director)
Bahareh Khatibi, MD
Brian M. Ilfeld, MD, MS
John J. Finneran IV, MD
Jacklynn Sztain, MD
Wendy B. Abramson, MD
Mary Abanobi, MD
Preetham Suresh, MD
NavParkash Sandhu, MD, MS
Rekha Chandabose, MD
Richard Bellars, MD
Ching-Rong Cheng, MD

Current Fellows

  • Christina Doan, MD
  • Brant Wilson, MD
  • Alfredo, Fiallo, MD
  • Melissa Millar, MD
  • Usha Saldanha, MD

Past Fellows


Amber Millen, Fellowship Coordinator
9500 Gilman Drive, BSB 5006
La Jolla, CA 92093-0629
Office (858) 534-3865
Fax (858) 534-1445