Welcome From the Program Director

Thank you for your interest in the Pain Management Fellowship Program of the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. 
This is a one-year program designed to provide expertise in evaluating and treating pain in a multidisciplinary framework. 
As the flagship hospital of Cook County Health, we are the major tertiary referral center within the system and provide care to a diverse population. We have a dedicated staff that takes pride in our hospital’s mission to help all our patients regardless of their ability to pay. 
The Faculty of our program consists of board certified anesthesiologists who are further specialized in pain management. This core faculty is complemented by a Physiatrist and a Clinical Psychologist who work directly with fellows in the Clinic. On site rotations on the Acute Pain Service and within the Departments of Palliative Care and Neurology provide exposure to a varied and complex inpatient and outpatient population. 
Our dynamic clinic manages a wide range of pain disorders, including back pain, cancer pain, chronic regional pain syndrome, neuropathy, post herpetic neuralgia, postsurgical pain, and post laminectomy syndrome. We provide the latest in technology and employ techniques from different disciplines in our approach to pain management. We utilize a wide spectrum of modalities, from the latest interventional procedure to alternative medical techniques such as acupuncture. 
We are expanding our capacity to perform clinical research and have multiple ongoing projects. Our faculty encourages participation in their ongoing research and supports the individual academic interest of the fellows. This research opportunity combined with a rich clinical experience renders the graduate of our program well qualified to practice in any setting they would desire. 
Taruna Penmetcha, MD 
Program Director, Pain Fellowship Program
Associate Chair, Dept. of Anesthesiology and Pain Management
Chair, Division of Pain Management
John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital at Cook County 


Program Requirements 
The Pain Management Fellowship Program follows all minimum selection criteria as delineated in the Institutional Policy on Selection. All applicants for a fellowship must: 
  1. Be a graduate of an LCME (Liaison Committee on Medical Education) accredited medical school; or an AOA (American Osteopathic Association) accredited medical school; or a medical school listed in the WHO directory of medical schools; or have completed a fifth pathway program provided by an LCME accredited medical school 
  2. Be eligible for licensure to practice medicine in the State of Illinois 
  3. Have completed an ACGME or AOA accredited residency
Application Process 
Applicants are required to complete and submit the application and supporting documents to our Pain Medicine Fellowship Program via ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) only: 
  1. Curriculum Vitae 
  2. Personal Statement showing your interest in Pain Medicine 
  3. Three letters of recommendation, including one from your current Program Director 
  4. Last In-Training examination results for Anesthesiology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neurology, or Psychiatry 
The Pain Management Fellowship Program participates in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). On the NRMP website, there is a timeline for programs in the NRMP Match.  
Applications are accepted from December until the end of May each year. Upon receipt of your completed application, the Selection Committee will review it and you may be invited for an interview. Interviews will be conducted during the months of March to June. Final decisions will be made by the end of September. 
Visa Information 
All residents, clinical fellows, research fellows, and staff who are not U.S. citizens and do not have a green card must have the appropriate visa in order to receive an appointment at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. 


Interventional Pain Procedures 
During this rotation, fellows will learn to manage all aspects to prepare for their scheduled patients’ procedures. Together with the attending, they will perform a full spectrum of blocks from peripheral nerve blocks to neuraxial interventional procedures. The pain management center has 2 fluoroscopy suites giving us the ability to perform all fluoroscopic guided neuraxial blocks including SCS (Spinal Cord Stimulation) trials. Final implants, Intra-thecal pumps, vertebroplasty and Osteo-cool among others, are performed in the main OR. Additionally, all patients’ rooms are fully equipped to perform all US guided blocks.
Outpatient Clinic 
Our multidisciplinary pain clinic operates Monday through Friday, and it is staffed with 5 board certified attending physicians. Fellows are supervised on all patient encounters. Patients are referred for evaluation and treatment for the following pain conditions, including low back and neck pain, cancer pain, neuralgia, CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), myofascial pain etc. We utilize multidisciplinary approach including non-pharmacologic, pharmacologic, and interventional management. We also collaborate with on- site PMR (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation), psychology and acupuncture teams on an ongoing basis allowing the fellow to experience the multimodal therapies and longitudinal improvement in their patients.
Inpatient Acute Pain Management 
The fellows rotate through inpatient service and the assigned fellow will round daily with the acute pain management team. We receive consultations from different services including trauma, neurology, oncology, surgical and medical specialties. Acute pain team will be involved in evaluating and managing consults using pharmacologic and interventional approaches as indicated. Interventional procedures, if indicated, are done in the units with ultrasound guidance or patients are transported to clinic for fluoroscopically guided procedures. Acute pain service will also work in collaboration with anesthesia team to manage postoperative pain, epidurals, and peripheral catheters. 

Didactic Curriculum

Our curriculum, overall, is highly innovative and structured and prepares graduates for both Board certification and practical knowledge and expertise.

Didactics include daily lectures covering all ACGME-required topics. In addition, we provide hands-on workshops, webinars, simulation sessions, in-training examinations, and board preparation series.

Program Contact

Kaitlynn Delvalle
Program Coordinator
(312) 864-1900