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Meet the Panel

 

T32 Research Fellows
David Tauben, MD

David Tauben, MD

Dr. Tauben is a physician at the Center for Pain Relief at University of Washington and chief of Pain Medicine for UW Medicine. Dr. Tauben earned his M.D. at Tufts University. He is board certified in both Pain Medicine and Internal Medicine. He holds a UW endowed professorship in General Internal Medicine and the Hughes M. & Katherine G. Black Endowed Professorship in Health Psychology & Medicine and is a professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. He is director of Medical Student Education in Pain Medicine and medical director for UW TelePain. He is a multi-year principal investigator for UW's prestigious NIH Center of Excellence in Pain Education. Dr. Tauben actively presents and lectures around the country educating primary care and specialty providers on chronic pain management, pain medicine practice and standards, and pain medication management. He is a founding member and co-chair of the Washington State Agency Medical Directors panel of medical experts developing opioid prescription guidelines for the state, and a regular clinical and content expert for regulatory and legislative bodies involved in public policy regarding pain medicine practice and standards.

Dr. Tauben believes each person's medical condition is a unique experience, so each and every diagnosis and treatment depends on the "who," in addition to the "where and when" of an individual's disease.

T32 Research Fellows
Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD

Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD

Dr. Sullivan is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences as well as Adjunct Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Washington. Dr. Sullivan received his MD and his PhD in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University. After completing an internship in Family Medicine at University of Missouri, he completed a residency in Psychiatry at the University of Washington in 1988. Dr. Sullivan served as attending physician in the University of Washington’s Center for Pain Relief for 30 years. He has published over 260 peer-reviewed articles, many on chronic pain, and is currently participating in NIDA-funded studies on tapering opioid therapy for chronic pain. He is also author of The Patient As Agent of Health and Health Care, a book published by Oxford University Press.

 

T32 Research Fellows
Drew Sturgeon, PhD

Drew Sturgeon, PhD

Dr. Sturgeon is a fellowship-trained, licensed clinical psychologist in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the Center for Pain Relief at University of Washington. Dr. Sturgeon completed his PhD in clinical psychology at Arizona State University and postdoctoral pain psychology training at Stanford University. Dr. Sturgeon utilizes a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and meditation-based approaches to pain management. His research interests include resilience in chronic pain, statistical modeling of adaptation to chronic pain, fatigue, and social factors in the experience of pain. Dr. Sturgeon believes that the most effective approach to chronic pain management emphasizes not only reduction of pain intensity, but also improvement in other aspects of health (emotional well-being, physical and psychosocial function, stress management, restorative sleep) that can enhance recovery outcomes. Ask him about the role of psychological treatments in chronic pain management (and how to explain this topic to patients!), as well as strategies and practical recommendations for implementing more psychologically-informed pain management plans.

T32 Research Fellows
James Robinson, MD

James Robinson, MD

Dr. Sturgeon is a board certified physician affiliated with the Center for Pain Relief at University of Washington and a professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine (retired). Dr. Robinson earned his MD at University of California, Los Angeles. He believes in a rehabilitative approach to chronic pain. Key elements of this approach are empowering patients to optimize self-management of chronic pain disorders and encouraging them to take as much responsibility for self-management as is feasible. His interests include the conservative treatment of spine conditions and the rehabilitative treatment of fibromyalgia, as well as attitudes and decision-making strategies among patients regarding chronic opioid therapy.

 

 

T32 Research Fellows
Suzanne Rapp, MD

Suzanne Rapp, MD

Dr. Rapp is board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine and is a physician and is a professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. Dr. Rapp earned her MD at University of Washington and has been in pain practice since 1987. Her current interest is in myofascial pain, which is a component of many pain problems. The focus of Dr. Rapp’s practice is to assure, to the extent possible that the patient is medically stable, then proceed with treatment that is focused on improvement of function, utilizing multiple techniques: medications directed at pain specifically, improvement of sleep, increased activity and facilitating improvement of coping with pain. As a faculty member of the first pain clinic in the world, Dr. Rapp specializes in combining techniques from many specialties to improve pain care in patients. She has a strong interest in promoting self-management strategies to allow patients to be more independent in their care.

Pamela Pentin, MD

Dr. Pentin is a graduate of Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Vermont, where she served as Chief Resident. Dr. Pentin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington. She practices a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient primary care and is an expert in managing acute and chronic pain, as well as in treatment of opioid use disorder. Dr. Pentin is Chief of Service for family medicine at the UW Medical Center and leads UW’s clinical clerkship, inspiring doctors-in-training to choose family medicine as a career. Dr. Pentin is Chair of the Washington Academy of Family Physicians’ Scientific Assembly Committee, leading, organizing, hosting and recruiting faculty for their annual continuing medical education conference featuring speakers from around the country. She is past Chair of the Washington Academy’s Pipeline Committee, where she worked to inspire pre-med and medical students to choose family medicine as their discipline of choice, and endeavored to recruit family physicians to meet the needs of patients in underserved areas of the state. She is also in her 26th year of service as a U.S. Navy medical officer (now Reserve), with stories to tell from many deployments.