Pain Medicine Clerkship

Course Number: AN298.01

The UCLA Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine offers a three week Pain Medicine Clerkship to fourth year UCLA medical students. The rotation is offered throughout the year (July through June) for one medical student per rotation. During this rotation, the medical student works in the UCLA Pain Management Center alongside attending, resident and fellow physicians. The UCLA Pain Management Center offers clinical services to our patients Monday through Friday, divided between 5 board certified Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine attending physicians. A variety of cases such as low back and neck pain, myofascial pain, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), neuropathic pain, cancer pain, post-herpetic neuralgia are evaluated and treated. Our multidisciplinary approach utilizes the many resources at our disposal, including pain psychology, physical and occupational therapy, neurology and neurosurgery, psychiatry and addiction medicine. The interventional treatments range from basic diagnostic nerve blocks such as epidurals, facet medial branch nerve blocks, and sacroiliac joint injections, to sympathetic blocks, chemical neurolysis, radiofrequency ablation, and implantable neurostimulator and infusion pump devices.

The Pain Medicine Clerkship is designed to give the medical student hands-on training in the comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide variety of chronic pain conditions with emphasis on spinal medicine. These treatments include both medication management as well as interventional techniques. Comprehensive evaluation includes complete history and physical examination with full development of plan of care for each patient. As the basic skills of evaluation and diagnosis are being obtained, the medical student is introduced to various pain procedures.

Medical students enrolled in this course are oriented by the Pain Medicine attending physician on the first day of the rotation.

Learning Objectives

Our Pain Medicine Clerkship emphasizes a wide variety of chronic pain conditions in the out-patient setting. Specific learning objectives include:

  • Knowledge of spinal medicine and somatic, neuropathic and visceral pain
  • Improved history and physical exam
  • Pain procedures: epidural analgesia, sympathetic blocks, neurolytic blocks, radiofrequency lesioning, spinal cord stimulation and implantation of intrathecal drug delivery systems
  • Management of postoperative pain
  • Pharmacology of opiods, NSAIDs, membrane-stabilizing agents, antidepressants, local-anesthetics.

Schedule

Typical Weekly Schedule

Hour Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
AM 8:00 - 12:00
Clinic
7:00 - 8:00
Didactics

8:00 - 12:00
Clinic
7:00 - 8:00
Grand Rounds

8:00 - 12:00
Clinic
7:00 - 8:00
Didactics

8:00 - 12:00
Clinic
8:00 - 12:00
Procedures
PM 1:00 - 4:00
Clinic
1:00 - 4:30
Clinic
1:00 - 4:00
Clinic/Procedures
1:00 - 4:00
Clinic
1:00 - 4:00
Procedures

Medical students are expected to stay at least until 4:00 P.M. every weekday. If the medical student is involved in an interesting learning case, he or she encouraged to stay longer to see the case through to its end. As our Pain Medicine Clerkship is an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge and clinical training in the discipline, it is very important to be in attendance every day as scheduled. Medical students are encouraged to plan their rotation around this expectation. Any anticipated absences must be approved by the Medical Student Education Coordinator and Clerkship Director prior to the start of the rotation.

If you have any questions, please contact the Medical Student Coordinator, Susan Kim, either by phone at (310) 267-8667 or via email at SMKim@mednet.ucla.edu.