Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine >> Education >> Medical Students >> Pain Medicine Clerkships

Medical Students:
Pain Medicine Clerkships

“Acute pain is a symptom of disease; chronic pain itself is a disease.” — Dr. John Bonica

Everyone knows what "pain" is, since all people have had some personal experience with painful injuries and conditions. This does not make us familiar with the problem of "Pain," when a pain extends without remission for months to years, or, when it has become "chronic." Our own experiences with pain can mislead and bias us when we encounter patients with continuing persistent Pain.

All medical specialties need a basic core competency in understanding how to take care of pain. You will help your patients if you understand pain. The UW Division of Pain Medicine has developed the following integrated curriculum and elective clerkship opportunities for medical students to improve their care of patients experiencing acute and chronic pain.

Required Pain Medicine Curriculum

The Division of Pain Medicine has introduced the following integrated medical student didactic and clinical Pain Medicine curriculum that is required for all medical students at the University of Washington.

Third Year

Family Medicine
5 hours required active student participation in extended network community outreach tele-video multidisciplinary pain medicine case consultation.

To learn more, go to:

Fourth Year

Rehabilitation Medicine: Conjoint 695 — Chronic Care Clerkship
2 hours Pain Medicine case-based overview and Opioid Q&A didactics first and last day of 4-week curriculum. All students independently study 8 hour required course web-content with interactive internet resources including content on narrative medicine, general principals of pain medicine, opioid clinical management, non-opioid prescription management, and problem solving exercise for opioid dose conversions, tapering (detox) schedules, and PCA management. All students are encouraged to participate in 5-8 hours of twice weekly tele-video pain consultation sessions with a 5 state regional network of primary care providers.

To learn more, view the syllabus for the Rehabilitation Medicine: Chronic Care Clerkship below:

Rehabilitation Medicine: Conjoint 695 — Chronic Care Pain Track
2 students selected by lottery from total group of Conjoint 695 students (144 hours), join in active participation as member of outpatient multidisciplinary team of pain experts at UW Center for Pain Relief: intensive and direct patient assessment and management planning; includes 4 days at Seattle Children's Hospital for in and out-patient pediatric pain care and a 4-hr Acupuncture observership in an exchange with Bastyr University.

To learn more, view the syllabus for the Chronic Pain Track below:

Elective Training Opportunities

UW students interested in a focused experience with acute and chronic pain management should also consider the following clerkships programs.

First or Second Year

Conjoint 505 — Preceptorship in Multidisciplinary Pain Clinic — 3 positions available per rotation
An elective for 1st -2nd year students seeking experience observing assessment and management approach in patients with complex chronic pain problems.
Offered: A,W,Sp,S — mornings - 32 hours, 1 credit.
Prerequisite: first- or second-year medical student standing.
Clerkship Site:
UW Medical Center — Roosevelt

Third or Fourth Year

ANEST 650 — Pain Medicine Clerkship — 1 positions available per rotation
This is a hospital-based elective emphasizing comprehensive care of patients with chronic pain from benign diseases and cancer. Faculty members from multiple departments provide student with didactic and bedside experiences; student member of treatment team. Involves both inpatient and outpatient activities. This clerkship focuses on specialty care of acute and interventional pain treatment and is directed towards students interested in anesthesia, surgical specialties, and primary care.
Offered: A,W,Sp,S — 144 hours, full time, 4 credits
Prerequisite: third or fourth year student.
Clerkship Site:
Harborview Medical Center (HMC)

General Clerkship Policies

For current clerkship policies, please see the UW Clerkship Policies page:

Religious Accommodations Policy

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy ( Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (

In order to plan accommodations that will avoid possible delays in course/clerkship end dates, UW SOM recommends students complete the Religious Accommodation Request Form in advance of the start date of their course or clerkship.


About Pain Medicine Electives

The Pain Medicine electives, Conjoint 505 & ANEST 650, are coordinated by the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine. For more information about these course offerings please contact our Clerkship Coordinator:

Robin Boland (206-543-2474; fax 206-543-1032;

About Conjoint 695 — Chronic Care Pain Track

The Conjoint 695 Chronic Care Clerkship is coordinated by the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. For more information about this elective please contact:

My-Phuong Jawort (phone: 206-221-6453;