A Pilot Survey: Retention in Pain Medicine Among Fellowship Trained Anesthesiologists

Sarang S. Koushik, Kelly Leap, Kenneth Seier, Kay See Tan, Naum Shaparin, Alan D. Kaye, Omar Viswanath, Grant H. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We aim to explore the factors related to job satisfaction among pain physicians and identify the reasons why individuals minimize or stop practicing outpatient pain medicine. Objectives/Study Design: This is a survey-based study with the primary goal to identify factors determining job satisfaction and dissatisfaction among pain medicine fellowship graduates who continue to practice and those who are no longer practicing interventional pain. A secondary goal is to elucidate reasons for anesthesiologists trained in pain medicine to leave pain medicine, despite an additional year of training, and to work as general anesthesiologists. Methods: In this study, all 114 pain program directors listed on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) website, or their administrative assistants were directly contacted via email. All email addresses were obtained from the ACGME website. The survey opened in September 2021, with reminder emails sent before the closing of the survey in December 2021. A final reminder email was sent 4 weeks prior to the closing of the survey. Results: Of all the respondents, 79 (89.77%) were currently practicing pain medicine, and 9 (10.23%) were no longer practicing pain medicine. Limitations: Our study has a major limitation as we are unable to determine the response rate and are limited in the data points gathered. Conclusion: We hope this study will allow for pain medicine fellowship program directors to improve recruitment and retention of pain fellows in the field while addressing the pros and cons of future career aspirations with anesthesiology residents prior to fellowship selection. A larger, more thorough study with an exact response rate can compare the various outcomes based upon different types of settings, such as private practice, partnership, and academia, as well as geographical locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1447-E1455
JournalPain physician
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Burnout
  • fellowship selection
  • job satisfaction
  • pain medicine
  • retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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