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Pain Management Fellowship

The VCU Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Richmond, Va., is pleased to announce the accreditation of its Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Pain Management Fellowship. We are proud to be the first ACGME-accredited physical medicine and rehabilitation pain fellowship in the country and will continue to lead the way in keeping our academic focus to this challenging area. This accreditation supports the department’s philosophy of developing evidence-based teaching, research and clinical programs across the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation.


Download the application.

About the program

The pain program is a joint venture of the VCU departments of Anesthesia and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation through the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center Pain Clinic, the VCU Medical Center’s Cancer Pain Clinic, Children’s Hospital of Richmond and the Sheltering Arms Rehabilitation Centers. This partnership brings the necessary balance to pain management training with state-of-the-art interventional services, cutting-edge non-interventional approaches to pain, a diverse patient population and a focus on function. The VA Medical Center’s Pain Clinic director, Denise Lester, M.D., is a pain fellowship-trained anesthesiologist with appointments in both VCU’s departments of anesthesia and physical medicine and rehabilitation.

In addition to the great clinical exposure the fellow’s also get involved in research. Professors in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation have a strong background in sports medicine and provides medical direction for the program’s community-based pain management and functional restoration center.

The Pain Management Fellowship features a twice-weekly lecture series, a weekly grand rounds, a monthly journal club and anatomical dissection. Under the direction of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has several ongoing research projects, including; pain perception in Parkinson’s disease, efficacy studies of prolotherapy, pain interventions in spinal cord injury, acute injuries in resistance training, and outcomes in running-related injury. A clinical patient database also is being instituted.

This additional fellowship training program helps to strengthen the department’s overall educational offerings — from our outstanding residency program to our TBI, SCI and Pediatric fellowships. These opportunities continue to place the VCU Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation among the best in the country.

Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center Pain Clinic

Hours of operation

  • Monday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Wednesday-Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Patient volume for outpatient clinics

  • New patients: 6-10/week
  • Follow up: 50-60/week
  • Injection clinic: 20-25/week
  • Inpatient consults: 1-2/week
  • Consults: 6-10/week

Fellow involvement

Fellows get involved in every aspect of the Pain Clinic, seeing about one-third of the total clinic volume. They take the role of primary provider for pain-related medical issues and become very familiar with many patients, following them throughout their care in the clinic. Fellows also have opportunities to cover high school and college sporting events.


  • Monday: 8 a.m.
  • Tuesday: 8 a.m.
  • Thursday: Noon (Pain Grand Rounds)
  • Friday: 8 a.m. (PM&R Grand Rounds)

Reading assignments

Readings will be assigned from major pain texts, classic and recent articles. These are often reviewed in the lectures given on Monday or Tuesday morning.

Grand Rounds

Pain Grand Rounds are conducted twice a month at VA Medical Center, while PM&R Grand Rounds are conducted every Friday morning. Fellows are required to attend.

Journal Club

Journal Club occurs once a month. Current articles are reviewed in a round table discussion with fellows, residents and faculty, using a critical eye on scientific quality.

Cancer Pain Clinic

This clinic is every other Wednesday at the Dalton Oncology Center at the VCU Massey Cancer Center. Procedures are often scheduled for Friday mornings.

Functional Restoration Program

This clinic is held at Sheltering Arms and offers the fellow an opportunity to evaluate patients, most of who are injured workers for an interdisciplinary program focused on returning to work. Fellows work with the interdisciplinary team consisting of a pain psychologist, physical therapist and a vocational rehabilitation specialist.

Project Pain

This is a National Institutes of Health-funded program focused on treating patients with pain who have had difficulty in the past in controlling their pain or with compliance. They are referred by the primary physician.


David X. Cifu, M.D., fellowship director
Denise Lester, M.D., director, VA Medical Center Pain Clinic
Michael Weaver, M.D., medical director, Project Pain
Jeffery Ericksen, M.D.
William Walker, M.D.
William Broaddus, M.D.

More information

Faye Richardson, fellowship coordinator
Phone: (804) 828-4230