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Anesthesia

Chronic Pain Fellowship Program

The Chronic Pain Fellowship at St. Michael’s Hospital Department of Anesthesia is a program designed to cultivate and foster your development as an adept clinician, and a skilled interventionist. We are part of a greater collaborative partnership as an academic pain management group and encourage you to pursue opportunities to build your interprofessional skills, develop scholarly projects, and be mentored by experts in unique fields of chronic pain.

According to several large population-based surveys, it is estimated that one in five Canadians lives with chronic pain. Within this context, the Chronic Pain Fellowship program will prepare trainees to work with this population while developing their anesthesia skills in one of North America’s largest trauma centres.

Our Chronic Pain team includes seven Anesthesiologists who each run clinics and perform procedures. They have developed special interests within their respective programs, including comprehensive mindfulness-based management, neuromodulation, and complex opioid management.

The Pain Management Program is currently run by Dr. David Sussman. It was founded by Drs. Peter Leung and Bokman Chan, who together have trained hundreds of residents and fellows, and have really put pain medicine on the map in Toronto. Dr. John Hanlon is the Program Director for the Royal College certified Pain Medicine Residency FRCPC program. Dr. Mary McLoone on top of interventional pain has a focus on adolescent pain medicine, and alternative treatments, including but not limited to acupuncture. Dr. Aaron Hong is the director of Neuromodulation and implants around 70 to 100 spinal cord stimulators per year. Dr. Karim Ladha is recognized as a world expert in pain research and clinical epidemiology, with a focus on pharmacological management, cannabis, and interventional psychiatry.

We benefit from a full-time administrative assistant as well as full nursing and imaging support (ultrasound and fluoroscopy with an X-ray tech) for procedures. Blocks are performed two days a week and clinics run three days a week.

We also have clinical activities that are performed at Women’s College hospital.

We see approximately 250 new patients per year and perform 600 follow-up consults per year.

Pharmacological management and interventional pain management are the cornerstones of our pain management program. We perform approximately 1300 procedures a year with the bulk of these being epidural steroid injections and trigger point injections.  We also perform the most commonly used blocks and techniques including Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) and neuromodulation program, which is led by Dr. Aaron Hong.

Fellows can expect to spend 50 per cent of their time in interventional pain and pain clinic and 50 per cent providing anesthetic services in the main operating room and ancillary anesthetic locations (cardiac catheterization and related services, neuro interventional procedures, multiple endoscopy suites, Magnetic Resonance Imaging suites, and a dedicated floor for labor & delivery, including two ORs and multiple L&D patient rooms).

The Pain Fellows will also be expected to work on the Acute Pain Service a couple times per year to gain comprehensive experience.

Additional information

Duration and workload

  • Programs are 12 months in duration and full-time (five days per week), although shorter training may be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Chronic Pain Fellows will also be included in the on-call roster and will be required to also work nights, weekends and holidays on a rotation basis. We are proud to offer pre- and post- call time off for our Fellows and limit the number of on-call to a monthly average of eight night and/or weekend calls, although the actual number is usually well below the limit. All our Fellows receive a competitive salary and extended health benefits.

English proficiency

Applications will only be analyzed if proof of English proficiency is provided. Each hospital site of the University of Toronto can request different minimum scores or grant waivers at their discretion. Therefore, you must inquire the minimum score for each site if applying for multiple sites/programs. Review general guidelines for applying to Fellowship programs.

English proficiency requirements for St. Michael's Hospital Department of Anesthesia Fellowships

  • If your medical school was taken in English but English is not the official language of your country, you must still provide proof of English proficiency.
  • Minimum scores for English proficiency tests:
    • Anesthesia Education and Simulation Fellowship:
      • TOEFL-IBT minimum score of 100 (minimum 25 in each section) OR
      • IELTS ACADEMIC minimum overall score of 7.5 or higher (minimum of 7.5 in each section)
    • All Other Fellowship Programs:
      • TOEFL-IBT minimum score of 93 (including a minimum score of 24 on the speaking section and minimum of 23 on all other sections) OR
      • IELTS ACADEMIC minimum overall score > 7.0 (minimum score of 7.0 in each section)

Applications

To apply online for this program, please select it from the link on the U of T Anesthesia Fellowships Offered page.

Director of the Chronic Pain Fellowship Program

David Sussman, BMSc, MD, FRCPC
Chronic Pain Fellowship Program Director| Department of Anesthesia, St. Michael's Hospital
Staff Physician | Department of Anesthesia, St. Michael's Hospital
Lecturer | Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto
416. 864.5071 | david.sussman@unityhealth.to
30 Bond St, 6th Floor Donnely Wing, Toronto, ON M5B 1W8