To be considered for enrollment for the primary care pain fellowship, applicants must complete an application. Click here to apply.

Expanding and optimizing the chronic pain management workforce

Although primary care providers usually had limited formal training in chronic pain management and addiction medicine, they deliver most of the pain care in the U.S. The UC Davis Primary Care Pain Management Fellowship provides a one-year, multidisciplinary, evidence-based educational program, which supports those who wish to become expert clinicians and teachers in chronic pain management. This fellowship provides practicing clinicians the opportunity to continue in their current practice while they receive the training, mentorship and resources needed to lead their primary care community in improving safe and effective pain management. This is not an ACGME-approved fellowship and learning takes place outside of traditional work hours.
Click here to download information sheet (PDF) »

Program highlights

  • The fellowship is designed for primary-care-oriented trainees and providers (e.g. internal medicine, family medicine, physician assistant, nurse practitioner) who wish to receive advanced training in primary care pain management.
  • Curriculum targets the most frequently encountered pain management issues faced in primary care, with a significant emphasis on addressing the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and responsible opioid prescribing.
  • Fellowship participants learn how to teach the curriculum to their regional primary care colleagues.
  • Join faculty in once-a-week office hours to ask questions and receive both group and individualized mentorship remotely with our faculty.


Fellowship Curricular Outline

More than 40 hours of training leads to a certificate of participation from the UC Davis Center for Advancing Pain Relief:

  1. Two weekend teaching sessions in Sacramento, California (20-24 CME hours)
  2. One hour per month of individualized, in-person or teleconferenced mentoring sessions with pain management fellowship faculty members (12 non-CME hours)
  3. Live, case-based discussions with a focus on integrated primary care pain management on a twice-per-month basis (20 CME hours)
  • All licensed physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants
  • To be considered for enrollment, primary care pain fellowship applicants must complete an application; approved applicants are then emailed instructions on how to register for the fellowship
  • $15,000 tuition invoiced upon notification of acceptance into fellowship (payment must be received before initiation of fellowship year)

Fellows must complete the following in order to receive a certificate of completion:   

  • Attend and participate in both weekend learning sessions
  • Attend at least 80 percent of teleconferenced teaching sessions
  • Participate in 12 hours of individualized mentorship
  • Complete all surveys


David Copenhaver, M.D., M.P.H. 
Pain Medicine, Anesthesiology

Charles DeMesa, D.O., M.P.H.
Pain Medicine, Physical Medicine

Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D. 
Associate Director
Internal Medicine

Scott M. Fishman, M.D. 
Associate Director
Pain Medicine, Psychiatry, Palliative Care

Gagan Mahajan, M.D.
Associate Director
Pain Medicine


Kevin Burnham, M.D.
Internal Medicine, Sports Medicine

Stephen Henry, M.D., M.Sc.
Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Bioethics

Amir Ramezani, Ph.D.
Psychology, Pain Psychology, Neuropsychology

Naileshni Singh, M.D.
Pain Medicine, Anesthesiology

Allied Faculty

Joseph Amos, M.D.
Interventional Pain Management
Memorial Hospital Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center

Miguel X Escalon, M.D.
Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY

Barbara St. Marie

Barbara St. Marie, Ph.D., R.N., ANP, GNP
College of Nursing
University of Iowa

Sara Goel, DO

Sara Goel, D.O.
Interventional Pain Management, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 
Houston Spine and Joint Pain Consultants

  • Introduction to Rational Polypharmacy
  • Responsible Opioid Prescribing
  • Physical Exam for those who have pain
  • Neuropathic Analgesia
  • Best Practices for Antidepressants and Pain Management
  • Analgesic Pharmacology of Opioids
  • Analgesic Pharmacology of Buprenorphine
  • Risk Assessment
  • Management of fibromyalgia
  • Evaluating Candidacy for Chronic Opioid Therapy
  • Opioid Screening Tools
  • Surveillance and Adherence Monitoring
  • Evaluating Aberrant Behavior
  • Appropriate Documentation for Chronic Opioid Therapy: FSMB Guidelines
  • Tapering Methodologies
  • Chronic Opioid Therapy and Mental Health
  • Pain Management and Addiction
  • Naloxone as a Rescue for Unintentional Overdose
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain Patients
  • Neurology and Headaches Overview
  • Rheumatologic pain disorder
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Physical Therapy for Pain Management

For more information, please contact