Interventional Pain Procedures in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residencies

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Abstract

Exposure to interventional pain procedures is now a required component of training in physical medicine and rehabilitation residencies as mandated by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Data regarding resident exposure and competency in these procedures remain limited. Objectives were to determine the volume and type of exposure physical medicine and rehabilitation residents have to interventional pain procedures and to obtain faculty-perceived opinions regarding competency of incoming fellows as it pertains to interventional pain management. Online surveys were sent to program directors of physical medicine and rehabilitation residencies and fellowship directors of interventional spine, sports medicine, and pain medicine fellowships. Surveys inquired about educational methods, the volume of procedures in which residents actively participate, and faculty-perceived competency of trainees performing procedures. Thirty-nine residency programs and 27 fellowships responded to the surveys. Of the 39 residencies that responded, there was great variation in the exposure residents receive. Most programs reported that residents have moderate exposure to common procedures such as ultrasound-guided knee injections and lumbar epidural injections. In addition, while most residency program directors report graduates to be “fairly prepared” (33%) to “well prepared” (20.5%) with regard to spine procedures, most fellowship directors (63%) describe incoming fellows to be at the “beginner” level.

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