Pain Medicine Fellowship

Introduction and Welcome from the Program Director, Leena Mathew, MD

Thank you for your interest in the Pain Medicine Fellowship Program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center (NYPH/CUIMC). Our one-year Fellowship Program is fully accredited by the ACGME and is an integral part of the Department of Anesthesiology. Graduates of our program are eligible to continue their examination progress towards subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine. The fundamental goal of the Pain Medicine Fellowship program is to train excellent pain clinicians and future educators and investigators in the field. This is done through a carefully structured mentored experience, providing comprehensive, team-based interdisciplinary patient-centered care. Over the course of this year, we provide an opportunity to develop increasing autonomy towards the achievement of demonstrated competence in the treatment of acute, chronic, and cancer pain in adult and pediatric patients. The program is complemented by a comprehensive multidisciplinary didactic curriculum, with opportunities for basic and clinical research.

Fellowship Overview

Experiential learning is attained through meaningful and responsible patient care under faculty supervision. Informal daily interactions with rotating residents, medical students, faculty and inter-professional team members occur in an academic environment that uniquely blends community and hospital-based medicine. These experiences prepare the pain medicine fellow for future practice in any setting.

Patients are seen in the inpatient setting at NYPH/CUMC. Additionally, patients are seen for consultation and interventional therapy at the ColumbiaDoctors Pain Management Center at 5 Columbus Circle. At both clinical sites the pain fellows obtain critical skills needed to provide patient care using an individualized, multidisciplinary approach with interventions focused on functional restoration and analgesia. The vast patient diversity affords exposure to a wide variety of pain problems that allow the fellow to develop competencies and skills needed to respond to the dynamic health care needs of patients across cultural and socioeconomic boundaries. They become facile at the art and science of integrating pain treatment with primary disease management.

Every core faculty member in the Pain Division is dedicated to providing compassionate, respectful, patient-centered care, while using stylistically distinct approaches to therapeutics and staying bound by ethical, evidence and value-based guidelines. This comprehensive training allows Pain Medicine fellows to broaden their perspectives and to develop the awareness needed to adopt practice styles consistent with their future career plans.

Fellows who graduate from the Columbia Pain Medicine Fellowship program are able to document a procedural and clinical experience that far exceeds ACGME requirements and seamlessly prepares them for independent practice. Through direct observation and feedback from faculty and inter-professional team members, the fellows are able to self-reflect and evaluate their personal clinical effectiveness to constantly improve their own skills. This experience, in association with research/scholarly activities, helps to develop all aspects of the expert consultant. Formal feedback on their competency development, aided by a self-reflective learning portfolio process, helps the fellow in establishing and monitoring individualized learning plans. The fellows are expected to take the Pain Medicine In-Training Exam in the latter half of the fellowship year, as a measure of their acquisition of medical knowledge regarding Pain Medicine in anticipation of the actual subspecialty certification examination.

All fellows receive a competitive salary and benefits from NYPH, our ACGME Institutional Sponsor. Please refer to the NYPH Graduate Medical Education Website for more specific information.

Program start date: July 1
Number of positions: 3
Length of program: 12 months

How to Apply

Residents who are completing an ACGME-accredited residency in any of the following fields are eligible to apply for a fellowship in Pain Medicine.

  • Anesthesiology
  • Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry

The Pain Medicine Fellowship participates in the National Resident Matching Process. Applications are accepted through ERAS starting December 1- June 30, in anticipation of the NRMP Match opening in June. Additional information on the application process and NRMP Match can be found below

Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS)

National Resident Matching Program (NRMP)

For further information regarding applying to the Pain Medicine Fellowship please contact the Education Office at (212) 305-3226.

Fellowship Contacts

Fellowship Director:
Leena Mathew, MD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at CUMC

Fellowship Coordinator:
Irene Yacoub, Administrative Coordinator