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 assortment of pain disorders, including back pain, cancer pain, chronic regional pain syndrome, diabetic 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. 
Maria L. Torres, 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 accredited residency in any of the following residencies: Anesthesiology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neurology, or Psychiatry. 
Application Process 
Applicants are required to complete and submit the  Pain Medicine Fellowship Application form along with a copy of the following: 
  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 
Please return these documents one of the following ways: 
  1. Email to kaitlynn.delvalle@cookcountyhealth.org 
  2. Fax to (312) 864-9544 
  3. Mail to the attention of Ms. Kaitlynn Delvalle, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management, John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, 1901 West Harrison Street, Suite 5670, Chicago, Illinois 60612. 
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 April until the end of July 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 August and September. Final decisions will be made by November. 
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 
We utilize two brand-new fluoroscopy suites, state-oftheart ultrasound machines, and recovery bays. All procedures are staffed by an attending physician. 
We house our own adult pain psychologist, massage therapist and PMNR physicians, pediatric pain psychologist, allowing the Fellow to experience the multimodal therapies useful in the treatment of chronic pain. 
Acute Pain Management 
The fellow will receive comprehensive hands-on training in regional and neuraxial anesthesia. The fellow can expect to perform three to five blocks or epidurals per day on days that he or she is acting as a fellow. These blocks will include supraclavicular, infraclavicular, interscalene, and axillary brachial plexus blocks. Lower extremity blocks will include femoral, sciatic, popliteal, lateral femoral cutaneous, and ankle blocks. 
Other blocks will include deep and superficial cervical plexus, lumbar plexus, intercostal, and paravertebral blocks. The majority of these blocks will be single shots, although some will be continuous infusions. All of the aforementioned blocks will be performed under ultrasound guidance, with supplemental instruction in nerve stimulation as necessary. The fellow can expect to perform several thoracic epidurals per day as all major abdominal and chest cases receive thoracic epidurals as part of our comprehensive approach to post-surgical pain management. 
In addition to the aforementioned handson training, the fellow will round daily with the acute pain management team and manage all continuous peripheral nerve catheters and thoracic epidurals. The fellow will also participate in the pharmacologic management of postoperative pain including, but not limited to the use of opioids and opiates, patientcontrolled analgesia, and adjunctive medications. 
The fellow will also receive formal instruction regarding the use of neuraxial and regional anesthesia including monthly journal clubs in which the fellow is expected to present at least four articles and a didactic lecture series on topics relating to regional anesthesia and acute pain management. In addition, the fellow will be expected to give a grand rounds presentation on a topic of his or her choosing consisting either of independent research or a literature review. 

Didactic Curriculum

Didactic events include small-group Board-oriented lectures (with review questions), morbidity and mortality conferences, physical examination practice sessions, journal club discussions and multidisciplinary case conferences. We have approximately 1-3 hours of didactics per week. The curriculum includes all ACGME-required topics plus didactics that focus on epidemiology and research preparation, research study design, Pain Medicine Board preparation, pain practice business preparation, and billing/coding just to name a few. Our curriculum, overall, is highly innovative and structured and well prepares graduates for both Board certification and practical knowledge and expertise. 

Program Contact

Kaitlynn Delvalle
Program Coordinator
(312) 864-1900