The Weill Cornell Tri-Institute Pain Fellowship is a 12-month, ACGME-accredited program that provides a comprehensive curriculum for training the next generation of leaders in Interventional Pain Medicine. Widely regarded as one of the top training programs in New York City and the country, the program incorporates core rotations at three of the nation's leading hospitals: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Hospital for Special Surgery. Our fellows benefit from the close association between these three world-renowned hospitals. In fact, it is this breadth of experience that we — and our graduating fellows — feel makes our program so unique and unparalleled.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center is a major international and regional tertiary referral center that is consistently ranked among the top hospitals in the United States. Fellows rotating through NYPH are exposed to an evidence based and multi-disciplinary approach to treating pain at a major academic hospital. The pain fellows' exposure to a wide variety of clinical cases — including cancer pain, spine-related pain, and other painful conditions such as CRPS — make this rotation unique. Clinical education time is split between our new Center for Comprehensive Spine Care, the Upper West Side office, and the Lower Manhattan office. All of our facilities have en-suite fluoroscopy with daily procedures occurring that include ultrasound-guided procedures. Advanced pain therapies, such as spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal delivery systems, are a focus of this rotation.
Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is the world's largest dedicated cancer hospital. The rotation here offers a very unique opportunity for pain fellows to evaluate patients with all stages of malignant disease. Fellows are exposed to the latest in cancer pain management techniques including neurolytic blocks, vertebral augmentation, and intrathecal drug delivery systems. New and creative approaches to pain management are often necessary for improving quality of life in patients with advanced disease.
The Hospital for Special Surgery
The Hospital for Special Surgery is a world-famous orthopedics and rheumatologic hospital that has been continuously top-ranked by U.S. News & World Report for twenty years. In addition to providing a specialized orthopedic, rheumatologic and rehabilitation patient referral base, the clinical rotation at HSS offers a true glimpse of a busy pain management clinic from a private practice perspective. There is a focus on cervical and lumbar spine procedures. Advanced therapies include DRG stimulation and intravenous ketamine infusions for CRPS.
Didactics and Education
Weekly Teaching Time
Fellows have protected weekly teaching time throughout the year, regardless of their clinical responsibilities.
Every Friday morning from 7:30-8:30 am, there are Pain Medicine Grand Rounds. We have invited speakers presenting throughout the year.
In addition, every Friday morning from 8:30-9:30 am, fellows have weekly didactic sessions. A wide array of topics are covered such as Journal Club, Board Review and Business Management. There is a lot to cover in one year and we try our best to give our fellows the full spectrum!
Finally, every month there is a Friday morning Cadaver Session that provides fellows with hands-on practice of various techniques. During these sessions, the Pain Medicine faculty or invited guest speakers help to cover interventional techniques for different regions of the body.
Fellows are given a generous educational allowance to help support their learning. Two Pain Management books are given at the start of the fellowship, and fellows receive additional reimbursements for presenting at conferences and for research published.
We encourage our fellows to attend local and national conferences in order to meet other leaders in Pain Medicine. In the past, we have given fellows protected time and reimbursed them to attend the New York & New Jersey Societies of Interventional Pain Physicians' Pain Medicine Symposium. This year, however, we will be hosting The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Interventional Cancer Pain Symposium (ICPS 2017). The fellows will be given protected time and additional reimbursement for this conference.
Other conferences attended by fellows in the past include North American Neuromodulation Society Annual Meeting, American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine Annual Pain Medicine Meeting, and American Academy of Pain Management Annual Meeting.
Scheduling and Rotations
During the 12 month cycle, each fellow rotates between NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Hospital for Special Surgery as follows:
12 week rotation at Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine Care
12 week rotation at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - Pain Department
12 week rotation at Hospital for Special Surgery - Pain Department
6 week rotation which is further subdivided working with both the Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department and the Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – Neuroradiology Department. While working with the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, fellows have the opportunity to see patients in clinic, witness EMGs being conducted, be part of physical therapy sessions and custom orthotic fittings for patients. While working with the Neuroradiology Department, fellows have the opportunity to perform Vertebral Augmentation Procedures. This is a very hands-on experience much enjoyed by our fellows.
6 week rotation which is further subdivided working at both the Weill Cornell Medicine Upper West Side office and the Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – Psychiatry Department. While working at the West Side office, fellows see patients in clinic and perform interventional procedures daily in the en-suite fluoroscopy. While working with the Psychiatry Department, fellows have the opportunity to join the psychiatry team on inpatient rounding in the afternoon.
A Typical Work Day
- NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center
Your day starts at the Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine Care at 8:30am. One fellow is assigned to seeing patients in clinic while the other fellow is assigned to doing procedures with the en-suite fluoroscopy or with the ultrasound machine. There is a 30-60 minute lunch break. The day typically finishes by 5pm for clinic and procedures. Roughly once per week, fellows also rotate at the main OR at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for intrathecal pump trials, intrathecal pump implants, spinal cord stimulator trials (including DRG), and spinal cord stimulator implants. During the 12 week rotation, fellows take about 2-3 weekend calls in which they are helping to round on acute and chronic pain inpatients from 8am-1pm. The pager is then signed out and covered by the inpatient PACU resident for the remainder of the call. During the week, chronic pain inpatients are covered by our pain NP’s.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - Pain Department
Your day starts at 6:30am to perform regional blocks and thoracic epidurals for the first-scheduled OR cases. This is a great opportunity to learn and refresh your regional and ultrasound skills! Once the morning blocks/epidurals are completed, the pain team typically has breakfast together. Clinic starts at 9am. Both fellows see patients in clinic and perform procedures daily with the en-suite fluoroscopy or with the ultrasound machine. Lunch is typically in the middle of the day. The day typically finishes by 5pm for clinic. Inpatient chronic pain patients are seen by the pain NP's, but fellows may assist with this during the day especially when procedures are indicated. If an inpatient needs an interventional procedure done, it is performed by the fellow. While at MSKCC, fellows perform a wide array of procedures including CT-guided celiac plexus neurolysis, regional anesthesia blocks, and spinal cord stimulator/intrathecal pump implantation. During the 12 week rotation, fellows take about 2-3 twelve-hour call shifts during which they are covering the inpatient pain pager for both acute and chronic pain patients.
- Hospital for Special Surgery - Pain Department
Your day starts at 8am at the Hospital for Special Surgery Outpatient Pain Office. Both fellows on the rotation are assigned to work with a specific attending each day. The fellow works in conjunction with the designated attending for the day in clinic and to perform procedures with the en-suite fluoroscopy or with the ultrasound machine. You have a 30-60 minute lunch break. The day typically finishes by 5pm for clinic and procedures. Once a week, fellows also see patients in the Medicaid Fellows Clinic and have designated fluoroscopy time later in the week to perform procedures on their patients so there is continuity of care. While at HSS, fellows have the opportunity to see a wide range of procedures ranging from acupuncture, prolotherapy, cryoneurolysis to DRG stimulation and DRG implantation. During the 12 week rotation, fellows take about 4-5 weekend calls in which they are helping to round on chronic pain inpatients and covering the pain pager from Saturday 7am till Sunday 7pm. The pager is then signed out to the covering NP for the night. During the week, chronic pain inpatients are covered by our pain NP’s.
Living in New York City
The Cornell campus of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Our Pain Fellowship program participates in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) for fellowships. Applications are accepted only through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS). Applications are accepted on ERAS from December 1 to May 31. Required documents are:
- Personal statement
- Medical school transcript and Dean's letter
- 3 letters of recommendation
- Passport-size photo
Additional documentation accepted: ITE Exam Score, SAE and any other similar progress examinations (can be emailed to email@example.com).
Only J-1 visas are accepted for appoinment at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine Pain Fellowship Program.
Please email all pain fellowship queries to Marlene Augustine, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amitabh Gulati, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology
Assistant Attending Anesthesiologist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Program Director, Tri-Institutional Pain Medicine Fellowship
Phone: (212) 746-2785